White Ferns defeat Australia to start T20 bid

Last updated 10:20 24/03/2014
Katie Perkins
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GUIDING LIGHT: Katie Perkins top-scored for the White Ferns with 31 as they defeated Australia by seven runs in their opening match at the women's Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

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The White Ferns have taken a significant step towards reaching the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 after beating Australia by seven runs today in their opening match in Bangladesh.

New Zealand beat the defending champions after posting 128-8 and then bowled out Australia for 121.
Katie Perkins top-scored for the White Ferns with 31. The White Ferns now need to win at least two of their three remaining pool matches against Ireland, Pakistan and South Africa to progress to the semi-finals.

Having been asked to bat first the White Ferns were put under pressure early, with captain Suzie Bates dismissed for just five. Cameos from Frances Mackay (25) and Sara McGlashan (15) settled things down nicely, before Perkins came in and anchored the innings through to the 17th over.

The finishing touches were added by Nicola Browne, who crunched a crucial 29 from 19 balls to elevate the White Ferns past the 120 mark. Her Player of the Match effort was highlighted by three fours and a six and gave her side a competitive total to defend.

Momentum swung throughout Australia’s response, but it was the loss of regular wickets which would be their downfall.

The White Ferns were buoyed by the early dismissal of the dangerous Meg Lanning for two, but a run-a-ball 41 from Alyssa Healy kept Australia on track early.

Following Healy’s dismissal in the 11th over, Alex Blackwell (31) took the reins for her side, seeing them through to 105 for six at the start of the 17th over. Her dismissal two balls later, via a run-out from Katey Martin, was the turning point though, with the White Ferns restricting the tail and claiming the victory three balls into the final over.

It was a joint effort with the ball for the White Ferns, with Holly Huddleston finishing with two for 23, while the other five bowlers all took a wicket apiece. The White Ferns play their next match against Ireland tomorrow night starting at 10.30pm (NZ time).

White Ferns 128-8 (Katie Perkins 31, Nicola Browne 29, Sarah Coyte 2-8) beat Australia 121 all out after 19.3 overs (Alyssa Healy 41, Alex Blackwell 31, Holly Huddleston 2-23) by 7 runs

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