Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) The WT20 INTL series between the Australian women's cricket team and New Zealand got tied at 1-1 following the first two matches at the Junction Oval here Tuesday.
The White Ferns recorded a six-wicket win in the first Twenty20 of the day but Australia bounced back to post a five-wicket in the second match.
Having lost the toss and being sent in to bat in the first match, Australia got off to a rough start losing early wickets.
Opener Meg Lanning (76) proved the main-stayer of the innings posting her highest T20I score. Alex Blackwell (29) also contributed to help her side to a total of 151/7 after their 20 overs. Morna Nielsen (2/25) and Frances Mackay (2/28) were the multiple wicket-takers for New Zealand.
New Zealand captain and opener Suzie Bates again proved dangerous at the crease and notched 42 runs before being dismissed by Ellyse Perry (2/21). Bates was also well supported in the middle by Sophie Devine (39). Megan Schutt (1/20) and Renee Chappell (1/23) both claimed wickets on their T20I debuts. The game came down to the wire with New Zealand passing the Australian total with two balls to spare, finishing 152/4.
The second match also came down to the wire with the home side reaching New Zealand's target with one ball to spare. Amy Satterthwaite (44), who was named player of the series in the recent Rose Bowl, again troubled the home side's bowlers as did New Zealand captain Bates (32).
Schutt (2/20) was the only multiple wicket-taker while Erin Osborne (1/15) was also economical. New Zealand finished 132/6 at the end of their 20 overs.
Lanning (64) was again a standout performer for the home side and enjoyed some good partnerships with Lisa Sthalekar (18) and Alex Blackwell (18). The Australian side surpassed the set target with one ball to spare. Sian Ruck (2/17) was the only multiple wicket-taker for the All Blacks.
Lanning was named player-of-the-match for both of Tuesday's matches.
The WT20 INTL series will be decided when the two sides meet here Thursday for the final match before both teams depart for the ICC Women's World Cup in India.