The New Zealand offspinner took all the pace off the ball during a spell that included three wickets in an over
Australia’s depth and confidence again shone through as they secured a 3-0 ODI series victory over New Zealand, to keep their record run going, but there was a glimpse at a potential weakness that teams could try to exploit.
Offspinner Leigh Kasperek followed her six-wicket haul in the second match with a triple-wicket maiden on Saturday as Australia slipped from 73 for 0 to 80 for 4. The key to Kasperek’s success was how slow she was able to bowl – one delivery clocked at just 38kph – which coupled with a pitch that was holding and turning gave the batters nothing to work with.
In the 12th over, Alyssa Healy was caught at long-on, Ash Gardner stumped by one which spun significantly then Rachael Haynes dragged on first ball.
It was similar to how Australia had been undone in the first match of last year’s T20 World Cup when Poonam Yadav went through them with 4 for 19.
“It’s something we need to get better at. We’ve spoken about it a lot as a group and guess we need to execute a bit better,” Meg Lanning said. “But credit to Leigh, she bowled extremely well and bowled to conditions really well.
“The breeze was really strong and she was bowling into it so it was dropping a fair bit as well as the slower pace. Often when you see the ball tossed up a lot your first instinct is to come at it and perhaps we need to rethink how we want to play it.
“We’ll need to address that and keep chatting about it, work out what we need to do to play that sort of bowling better because it will keep coming throughout world cricket. It can be quite effective, especially on older wickets so it’s good challenge for our batting group.”
However, Lanning believes facing such conditions now was a valuable experience ahead of next year’s ODI World Cup back in New Zealand.
“The conditions were tricky for batting. It was holding a bit and that’s probably what we’ll get through the World Cup, when we play at the same venues over and over again. I think there’s still a fair bit we can improve on and learn from, but this game was a great lesson for us.”
Australia are likely to be next in action in September with India due to visit for ODIs and T20Is before the Ashes early next year then the World Cup. The players now begin six weeks of leave before beginning pre-season in late May while a significant number of them will be taking part in the Hundred in July and August.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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