White Ferns' Rose Bowl hopes crushed
A savage century by irrepressible opener Meg Lanning obliterated New Zealand's faint hopes of a regaining trans-Tasman cricket's Rose Bowl one-day cricket trophy today as Australia maintained their dominance with a demoralising nine wicket romp at North Sydney Oval.
Lanning's third career hundred - a staggering 103 from 50 balls - made mincemeat of a White Ferns attack tasked with achieving the nigh impossible after New Zealand were dismissed for a paltry 177 inside 46 overs.
The dashing 20 year-old right hander was always going to be the key wicket but by the time she departed in the 18th over the Southern Stars needed a mere 32 runs for a 2-1 series lead.
Australia suffered no further setbacks and reached a mediocre target with contemptuous ease two just balls into the 22 over to thwart New Zealand's ambitions of claiming the trophy for the first time since 1999.
Lanning's previous innings of 87 (71 balls) and 72 (53) were pedestrian in comparison to today's stunning demolition job.
She brought up her fifty - a formality from 23 balls - by hoisting the first offering of New Zealand's most economical bowler Morna Nielsen over the ropes.
Lanning stroked nine fours and cleared the boundary twice to reach her milestone, and remarkably she continued to bludgeon the White Ferns to all parts of the picturesque ground.
The Singapore-born Victorian raced to three figures from 46 deliveries courtesy of her 18th boundary as captain Suzie Bates joined the casualty list.
Bates made an ominous beginning when she dropped a return catch from Alyssa Healy when the opener was on 17.
Healy made the most of her let off by crafting a practically anonymous unbeaten 62 from 69 balls - a contribution totally overshadowed until Lanning spooned a straightforward catch to Sian Ruck.
New White Ferns coach Katrina Keenan, a former international pace bowler, implored her attack to improve after they were unable to defend 288 at the same ground on Friday - yet a target of 178 was never going to defendable unless Lanning failed miserably.
Nicola Browne at least became the first bowler to dismiss Lanning - she was run out in the two previous games - though it was scant consolation for the medium pacer who conceded 41 from four overs.
Nielsen (0-32) also went for more than 10 runs per over and Bates' (0-38) four overs were also preyed upon.
Opening bowler Rachel Candy's 0-22 from 4.2 overs represented the most economical return.
Browne also top scored for New Zealand with a dogged 42 from 62 balls after the in-form coupling of Bates and Amy Satterthwaite crucially failed for the first time.
The pair added 168 and 115 for the second wicket but never combined today after Bates was the first wicket to fall for 39 - her first score of less than 50 in the series.
Satterthwaite, on a high after scoring 98 and her maiden ODI ton (109), was run out for nine by a quick-reacting Sarah Coyte and when Sara McGlashan exited a run later for 11, New Zealand were in strife at 75 for four.
Browne did her best to keep the runs ticking over but when her cut shot was gloved by Jodie Fields off spinner Jess Jonassen it was left for the tail to wag.
Erin Bermingham contributed a bright 25 before she was the second of three run out victims - Australia were razor sharp in the field to back up probing slow bowling from Osborne, who took 3-32 from 10 and Lisa Sthalekar's 1-27 from 9.4.
New Zealand started the series with a drought-breaking triumph at the SCG last Wednesday but since then Australia has played to form.
They levelled the series with an emphatic Lanning-driven four wicket win on Friday and after today's display the wounded White Ferns are only playing for pride when the dead rubber is contested at the same venue on Wednesday.
Scoreboard from the third Rose Bowl one-day cricket international played between Australia and New Zealand at North Sydney Oval:-
F Mackay lbw b Perry 12
S Bates b Osborne 39
A Satterthwaite run out (Coyte) 9
S McGlashan c Schutt b Coyte 11
N Browne c Fields b Jonassen 42
K Perkins c Healy b Osborne 5
K Martin std Fields b Osborne 3
E Bermingham run out (Poulton) 25
M Nielsen c Healy b Sthalekar 11
R Candy run out (Healy) 5
S Ruck not out 2
Extras (6lb 5w 1nb) 12
Total (all out, 45.4 overs) 177
Fall: 53, 53, 74, 75, 112, 122, 146, 160, 173, 177
Bowling: E Perry 10-0-42-1v (1w 1nb), M Schutt 5-0-33-0, E Osborne 10-1-32-3, L Sthalekar 9.4-1-27-1, S Coyte 4-1-12-1, J Jonassen 7-0-25-1 (4w)
M Lanning c Ruck b Browne 103
A Healy not out 62
L Poulton not out 7
Extras (1ib 5w) 6
Total (for 1 wkt, 21.2 overs) 178
Bowling: S Ruck 4-0-29-0, R Candy 4-0-22-0 (2w), N Browne 4-0-41-1 (2w), M Nielsen 3-0-32-0, S Bates 4-0-38-0, E Bermingham 2-0-15-0
Result: Australia win by 9 wkts, lead 4-match series 2-1 and retain Rose Bowl
Player of the match: Meg Lanning