Aus women’s team equal Ponting’s team’s world record

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The Australian women’s team beat New Zealand by 232 runs Wednesday to record its 21st consecutive win in one-day international cricket and equal a world mark set by Ricky Ponting’s Australian men’s team in 2003.

The Australian women haven’t been beaten in an ODI since losing to England on Oct. 29, 2017. The winning streak started in India in March 2018 and also included series wins over Pakistan, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Regular captain Meg Lanning, who missed Wednesday’s game because of a hamstring injury sustained while scoring an unbeaten century in Australia’s series-clinching win on Monday, said her team wanted to cap off the Rose Bowl series and reach the milestone 21 with an emphatic win.

“It’s nice to finish off with a big win today,” Lanning said as she accepted the trophy. “It’s a really special effort, especially over a long period of time.

“To win 21 on the trot is a great effort and something we’re really proud of.”

Despite the absence of Lanning and star allrounder Ellyse Perry, who missed the series because of injury, the Australians still raced to their biggest win over New Zealand.

Australia’s total of 325-5 virtually took the game away from New Zealand, which needed the biggest successful chase in women’s ODI history to secure an unlikely victory.

Stand-in captain Rachael Haynes led the way, posting 96 from 104 balls and sharing a 144-run opening stand with Alyssa Healy, who scored a run-a-ball 87 including 13 boundaries and a six.

The New Zealanders were bowled out for 93 in 27 overs, with only Amy Satterthwaite (41) and Maddy Green (22) reaching double figures after skipper Sophie Devine was dismissed by Megan Schutt in the first over for a first-ball duck. Schutt, Jessica Jonassen, Ash Gardner and Sophie Molineaux each took two wickets apiece.

Unlike Australia’s win over India in the women’s Twenty20 World Cup final in March, with more than 86,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the milestone ODI victory at Allan Border Field on Wednesday drew a crowd of about 300, with the capacity limited by restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some fans soaked up the sun in fold-up chairs near a green-and-gold banner that read “The history books are rewritten,” and others lazed on the grassy bank under the shade of trees that hung over the temporary fencing behind the boundary.

A little further away but still within sight of the wicket square, Australian fast bowler Mitch Starc was going through his paces in the practice nets as his wife, wicketkeeper Healy, was helping the Australian women’s team to victory.

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