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Aussie women register 21st consecutive win

Australia players celebrate after winning their ODI against New Zealand in Brisbane, on Wednesday. – AP/PTI
 BRISBANE, Oct 7: They’re equal now. The Australian women’s team beat New Zealand by 232 runs on Wednesday to record its 21st consecutive win in One-day International cricket and equal a world mark set by Ricky Ponting’s Australian men’s team in 2003.

 Even with skipper Meg Lanning on the sidelines and star all-rounder Ellyse Perry not playing the series because of injury, the top-ranked Australian women produced their biggest ODI win over New Zealand to cap the milestone.

The uncertain wait over when Lanning’s lineup will get the chance to break the record starts now, with doubts over a tour to Australia by India’s women’s squad this southern hemisphere summer and a trip to New Zealand because of travel restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s nice to finish off with a big win today,” said Lanning, who missed Wednesday’s game because of a hamstring injury sustained while scoring an unbeaten century in Australia’s series-clinching win on Monday.

“It’s a really special effort, especially over a long period of time.

To win 21 on the trot is a great effort and something we’re really proud of. Unlike Ponting’s men’s team, which won 21 straight ODIs within five months, including the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, scheduling means the women’s team has had to remain unbeaten since October 2017 to match the mark.

The winning streak started in India in March 2018 and also included series wins over Pakistan, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The Australians clinched this three-game ODI home series against New Zealand with a narrow win in game two but, with the milestone in mind, didn’t ease up at all after being sent in to bat in game three.

Australia’s total of 325-5 virtually took the game away from New Zealand, which needed the biggest successful chase in women’s ODI history to secure an unlikely victory. – AP

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