Auckland abandonment leaves New Zealand and Australia with shared series

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Less than three overs were possible at Eden Park with the attention now switching to the ODIs

Australia 14 for 1 vs New Zealand – Match abandoned

Australia and New Zealand shared the spoils in the T20I series after rain forced the decider at Eden Park to be abandoned with less than three overs bowled.

The contest had been reduced to 13 overs per side after a delayed start but shortly after the game began the rain returned and though the umpires did their best to keep the match going it became too heavy and did not relent.

“The forecast wasn’t great, you just hope it goes round,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said. “It’s disappointing; [I] think it would have been a really good game. Both sides were playing reasonably well and at an amazing stadium as well. Frustrating, that’s for sure.”

It was the first time since 2017, when they lost to England during the Ashes, that Australia had not taken away a T20I prize on offer – a run that includes two tri-series and two World Cups.

In the short period of play possible New Zealand had again bowled well in the powerplay with Australia only able to score two boundaries off the 17 deliveries sent down. Rosemary Mair had struck in her first over when Beth Mooney guided a catch to short third where Lauren Down, who had replaced the injured Frances Mackay, held on well.

There was time for Alyssa Healy to play her best shot of the series, a thumping straight drive off Jess Kerr, but two balls later the players went off.

Australia had made one change to their side with a swap of pace bowlers – Tayla Vlaeminck returning in place of Darcie Brown who had made her debut in Napier. Ellyse Perry became the most capped T20I cricketer with her 123rd appearance, overtaking New Zealand’s Suzie Bates.

New Zealand were again without captain Sophie Devine who did not play the last two games of the series because she had been suffering from fatigue. It remains to be seen whether she is available for the one-day series which starts on Sunday but Mackay has definitely been ruled out with a partial tear to her right calf.

“Frankie was outstanding with bat and ball in Napier and showed plenty of grit playing with an injury,” New Zealand head coach Bob Carter said. “We wish her all the best in her recovery and thank her for what she’s added to the group.”

The focus will now turn to the ODIs which will be played entirely in Mount Maunganui. A victory for Australia in the opening match would give them a world record 22 wins in a row, beating the 21 of Ricky Ponting’s 2003 which they currently stand level with.

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