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The Australian women won the second T20 international against New Zealand with ease and took the series win. They now have the opportunity to blank their neighbors by beating them in the third and last T20 at Canberra. New Zealand has been strangely subdued in this series. They came in with a reputation of having done well against the Aussies in recent times and with top-order batters that are adept at scoring runs. They have, however, failed to display their best cricket so far. A win in this match could go a long way in arresting this slide they seem to be on and help them start the ODI leg with a bit more confidence.
An extremely tight display of bowling by the Aussies in the last match ensured that New Zealand was not able to post a total that troubled them. Megan Schutt led the bowling with figures of 4 overs, fifteen runs, and three wickets to her name. Two of those wickets came in the opening powerplay and sent back Devine and Watkin.
New Zealand is a very top heavy batting lineup and the loss of two early wickets really set them back.
Molineux, Perry, and Kimmince also bowled well to keep the pressure on the New Zealand women throughout their inning. Gardner came in for some punishment against Bates in particular but there was never any doubt as to which team had the upper hand.
Australia will not want to change too many things in this match even though they have already won the series. New Zealand has shown flashes of brilliance and it has taken some very good cricket by the Aussies to keep them down.
The batting strength of the Aussies was on display again as one of the top-scorers from the first game did not have to bat and the other scored just 19 runs. This time it was Healey, Villani, and a couple of small contributions from the others that were enough to overhaul the New Zealand score.
Australia is a very tough team to beat at home especially when its long batting lineup is firing. If the Aussie bowlers can keep on picking up some early wickets then New Zealand is going to find it very tough to find a way past this team.
Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Molineux, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt.
An excellent inning from Suzie Bates went in vain as the New Zealand top-order failed to fire in unison. Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, and Jess Watkin are pretty much the heart of this New Zealand batting. There are a couple of useful players like Satterthwaite, Martin, and Green in the side but it is clear that the bulk of the runs have to come from the top-3.
Here again, like in the previous match, only one player fired and the team was able to scrounge up a par score to have a semblance of a shot. At the moment, though, the New Zealand bowling is not strong enough to be able to keep the Aussies down with such a small total on the board.
Devine, Tahuhu, and Kaspersk had combined to pick up four early wickets in the first match to put the Aussies under pressure, but they could not do the same this time around. The bowlers struggled to find a way back once Healy and Villani got going and by the time they managed to separate the pair, the match was all but gone.
Amanda Kerr bowled a bit better than in the last match but we feel she is still lacking in confidence. Maybe giving her a defensive field until she finds her rhythm may be the way to go because the New Zealanders need her to be picking wickets in the middle order.
There is no doubt that this New Zealand team has the talent and the players to be able to compete against this Australia team. At the moment, though, they seem to have been out prepared by a very motivated opponent.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin, Jess Watkin, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Kate Ebrahim, Amelia Kerr, Lea Tahuhu, Holly Huddleston.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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The Manuka Oval at Canberra should provide a good batting surface like earlier venues in the series. The weather is expected to be pretty cool but no rain has been forecast on match day. The batters from both sides should be able to enjoy the ball coming on to the bat and we expect to see the highest scoring match of this series being played out.
New Zealand came into this series with a real chance of victory. Now, with the series lost, and the form that the Aussies have displayed, a 3-0 scoreline seems very probable. We recommend sticking with the home team in this match as well.
Back Australia to win.
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