Aussie women match Ponting-era record with 21 straight wins
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - You're right now.
The Australian women's team beat New Zealand on Wednesday in 232 runs, recording their 21st straight win in one-day international cricket. In doing so, she achieved a global mark that was set by Ricky Ponting's Australian men's team in 2003.
Even when skipper Meg Lanning was on the sidelines and star all-rounder Ellyse Perry was unable to play in the series due to an injury, the top Australian women scored their biggest ODI win against New Zealand to reach the milestone.
The uncertain wait for when Lanning's lineup will have a chance to break the record begins now, with doubts about an Indian women's team touring to Australia this summer in the southern hemisphere and a trip to New Zealand due to travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic .
"It's nice to end with a big win today," said Lanning, who missed Wednesday's game with a hamstring injury as he made an unbeaten century in Australia on Monday. "It's a very special effort, especially over a long period of time.
"Winning 21 at a trot is a huge effort and something we're really proud of."
Unlike Ponting's men's team, which won 21 straight ODIs in five months, including the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, the planning means the women's team will have to remain undefeated since October 2017 to hit the mark. The winning streak began in India in March 2018 and also included series victories against Pakistan, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
The Australians won that ODI home series with three games against New Zealand with a narrow win in game two, but did not relax at all given the milestone after being sent to hit in game three.
Australia's 325-5 totals virtually took New Zealand the game in what took the largest successful chase in women's ODI history to an unlikely victory.
Substitute captain Rachael Haynes was in the lead with 96 balls out of 104 and shared an opening stand of 144 runs with Alyssa Healy, who scored an entertaining run-a-ball 87 with 13 limits and a six.
The New Zealanders had 93 in 27 overs, only Amy Satterthwaite (41) and Maddy Green (22) reached double digits after Megan Schutt sacked skipper Sophie Devine in the first over because of a first ball duck. Schutt, Jessica Jonassen, Ash Gardner and Sophie Molineaux took two wickets apiece.
In contrast to 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 win at Allan Border Field on Wednesday drew around 300 spectators, with capacity being restricted There was limited space for the coronavirus pandemic.
Some fans soaked up the sun in folding chairs near a green and gold banner that read, "The history books are being rewritten," while others lounged on the grassy bank in the shade of trees hanging over the makeshift fence behind the border.
A little further away, but still within sight of Wicket Square, Australian fast bowler Mitch Starc paced the practice nets as his wife, wicketkeeper Healy, helped the Australian women's team win. Starc will likely be back in action next month when home summer starts.
The players will go to their respective clubs for the national Twenty20 tournament and will have to wait to find out when they will get their national team back together.
Space and time could give Haynes, one of four players involved in all of Australia's 21 victories during the winning run, a chance to reflect on how the women's streak compares to the 2003 men's team.
"I definitely followed the men's side growing up. They had a pretty extraordinary period of success so I think hearing our group compare to it is really special," she said playing in it it's hard to understand how important it is, but we don't lose it. I am sure we will think about it and celebrate in due course. "
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