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Cricket news - All-round Australia cap season with three-nil whitewash

Ellyse Perry top-scored for Australia with a fine half-century

After botched chases in the first two ODIs, New Zealand chose to bat first after winning their third toss in three games, only to go on and lose this one too. Australia won the final Rose Bowl ODI by seven wickets, thus sweeping the series 3-0 to not just strengthen their position at the top of the ICC ODI Championship table but also cap off a very rewarding summer of cricket.

The scores in the Rose Bowl series have hovered around the 240-run mark, which is why it was difficult to pick a favourite at the halfway stage, especially after New Zealand failed to chase 248 and 242 in the first two games. But a thoroughly professional chase from Australia saw them track down New Zealand's 232-run target at the Junction Oval in Melbourne with 2.1 overs to spare.

At the center of Australia's chase were 40-somethings from their top three: Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning - the latter making a much anticipated return to form after two average outings on the trot. They were perfectly backed up by an unbeaten half-century from Ellyse Perry that comfortably navigated the hosts to the target. Haynes and Healy started off with an 84-run opening stand, that grew after falling behind New Zealand's rate in the first ten overs. Both the openers fell 20.3 overs into the chase, having put up 108 on the board, when Lanning and Perry put the defining 82-run stand for the third wicket.

The initial breakthrough was provided by Leigh Kasperek, who although a bit too late also went on to pick Lanning, but there was not much support from the other end, notably from the opening bowlers, Lea Tahuhu and Rosemary Mair, both of whom had to make do without a wicket. Healy's was the only other wicket to fall in the chase, but this Sophie Devine strike proved to be a false dawn too.

But like the entire series, Australia's win was sourced from its bowlers, who restricted New Zealand to 231 for 8 in the first innings. Georgia Wareham broke a mature 70-run opening stand between Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates, before striking an over later to account for Lauren Down too.

There was a mini recovery in the middle overs courtesy a 44-run stand for the fifth wicket between Amy Satterthwaite and Katie Perkins, but former's run out after a 48-ball 49 to Jess Jonassen offset the recovery. Ashleigh Gardner's figures of 3 for 49 and the run outs of Hayley Jensen and Leigh Kasperek - making it three run outs in the innings - ensured that New Zealand stuttered towards the end. It could have been even worse without Perkins, who fell in the last over but not before helping New Zealand sneak 28 runs in the last three overs. 231 just wasn't enough on the day.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 231/8 in 50 overs (Devine 58, Satterthwaite 49, Perkins 41; Gardner 3-49, Wareham 2-36) lost to Australia 233/3 in 47.5 overs (Perry 54*, Lanning 48; Kasperek 2-54) by seven wickets

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