Lauren Down reaches her first international half-century
WICKET! Satterthwaite c Schutt b Carey 32 (New Zealand 69-2)
WICKET! Jensen b Schutt 0 (New Zealand 0-1)
Welcome to the first ODI between New Zealand and Australia from the always gorgeous Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui. Had the world been a different place over the last year, this would have been a ground where both teams featured in the World Cup earlier in 2021, but instead we have to wait until early 2022 for that after it delayed because of Covid complications. It makes these 50-over hit-outs all the more important as both teams build to that major event.
In the immediate term, there’s another landmark in mind for the Australians: if they can get over the line today, it will be their 22nd ODI triumph on the bounce, the most ever. They currently are level with Ricky Ponting’s 2003 team on 21 victories. It’s even more special that this run started back in 2018 for Meg Lanning’s charges.
Of course, it was the White Ferns who they most recently whitewashed in this format, three-zip in Brisbane in October. Between times, India’s visit didn’t happen so they’ve only been able to turn out in the green and gold again against New Zealand in T20s finishing on Wednesday, that series split one-all with a washout.
It will be Amy Satterthwaite in charge for the hosts, standing in as skipper for Sophie Devine who is resting after reportedly missing the final two T20s due exhaustion. As for Australia, they are a model of consistency at the selection table. What will be of interest when the coin goes up is whether quick Darcie Brown gets picked for an ODI debut after making her bow in the T20s. We’ll find out shortly!