TODAY |

White Ferns keep T20 series against Aussies alive with last-ball heroics

New Zealand defeated Australia in a nail-biting finish to the second T20 against Australia in Napier.

The White Ferns produced one of their best bowling and fielding performances of the summer to restrict Australia to 129-4 and fought right until the last ball of the match to secure a four-wicket win against their trans-Tasman rivals.

Under the guidance of stand-in skipper Amy Satterthwaite, who took over from regular captain Sophie Devine who missed the match due to illness, the New Zealanders were able to keep the T20 series alive.

With Devine missing from the batting line-up, Frankie Mackay stepped into the void at the top of the order and battled through a calf injury to score 46 and set a platform for those who followed.

Hayley Jensen and Satterthwaite were out cheaply but Amelia Kerr contributed 36 runs off 33 balls to keep the momentum going before getting bowled by Megan Schutt.

Kerr was Schutt's second wicket of the 17th over, as the White Ferns faced a precarious position of needing 29 runs off the last three overs.

But the match was to become even closer as the home side needed three runs off the final ball of their innings to sneak victory - and Maddy Green delivered with a French cut to the boundary.

Earlier in the match, opener Beth Mooney was the standout for the visitors, scoring an unbeaten 61 off 54 balls.

The dismissal of prolific Australian batter Alyssa Healy in the fourth over off the bowling of Jess Kerr caught, after a juggle behind the stumps by wicketkeeper Katey Martin, gave the White Ferns an early breakthrough.

Jess Kerr was in the action again when she ran out Australian captain Meg Lanning for 27 and when she caught Rachael Haynes for 29 off Frankie Mackay's bowling.

Mackay picked up her second wicket, removing Ash Gardner who had put in a player of the match performance in the opening game of the tour, for four. Mackay finished with figures of 4-20 off her four overs.

Mackay picked up the player of the match award, but her availablity for the last game of the T20 series is on Thursday in Auckland is in doubt due to her calf injury.