Australia captain Meg Lanning stitched a 117-run second-wicket partnership with Rachel Haynes to guide her side to a four-wicket victory against New Zealand in the second ODI to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
With this win, Australia have now extended their unbeaten ODI run to 20 matches. If the side wins the final ODI, then the side will equal Ricky Ponting‘s record of consecutive 21 ODI victories in 2003.
“We go out to win every game that we play, and it’ll be no different Wednesday," she began. “It’s a nice position to be in, I guess," Lanning said in the post-match press conference.
Chasing 253, Australia got off to a steady start as openers Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes put on 37 runs for the first wicket. New Zealand got their first wicket in the seventh over as Sophie Devine clean bowled Healy (21).
Lanning then joined Haynes in the middle and the Australia captain set about her task with an almost robotic familiarity as the duo kept the scoreboard ticking.
Haynes was dismissed for 82, but Lanning continued. She finished the game having struck three sixes and nine fours on her way to a 101 not out from 96 balls and taking Australia over the line with 29 balls to spare.
“The total is always in the back of your mind but for me it’s about getting in to start with – so the first 20 balls, having good intent, putting away the bad ball and just having really good footwork," she said.
“For us (today) it was just about getting to the 40th over with wickets in hand, and then if we needed to step the foot down a little bit we could, but we actually didn’t need to today – we were able to keep the run rate under control and finish it off a bit early which was good," Lanning added.
In case you missed Meg Lanning racking up her 14th ODI hundred to seal a win for Australia today…here’s the best of it! #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/XKeI5KTihN— Australian Women’s Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) October 5, 2020
While her team is on the cusp of history, 28-year-old Lanning herself created history during this run chase. She is now officially the most successful chaser in the history of women’s ODIs. Her unbeaten 101 took her career run tally in winning chases to 2,125, eclipsing India legend Mithali Raj‘s mark of 2,036 in at warp speed, requiring just 38 innings versus Raj’s 52.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 5, 2020
To give it some more context, she had 14 ODI hundreds in 82nd innings, a rate unmatched in either the men’s or women’s game. Not by Kohli or Clark, or Amla or Edwards.