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Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars retain Rose Bowl in emphatic style
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars produced its most dominant batting display of the series to retain the Rose Bowl with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln this afternoon.
Chasing New Zealand's imposing 7-249, the Australian top order was brilliant, with a century opening stand setting up the win with more than three overs to spare and with the loss of just two wickets.
Shelley Nitschke scored 82 and Alex Blackwell 91 before Lisa Sthalekar (61 not out) and captain Karen Rolton (four not out) notched the winnings runs to secure the series 3-2.
Earlier, New Zealand looked headed for its first Rose Bowl Series triumph when it posted 249 after winning the toss. All of the White Ferns top and middle order made handy contributions but it was again Nicola Browne and Sara McGlashan that led the way.
The pair both scored 50 before Sophie Devine's 40-run, 27-ball innings, set the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars its highest total of the series to retain the Rose Bowl.
Sarah Andrews (3-45) and Emma Sampson (2-52) were the best of Australia's bowlers, while Delissa Kimmence took her first international wicket in six overs that yielded 1-18.
Nitschke and Alex Blackwell's response to the White Ferns total was a brilliant 144-run opening stand that had the runs flowing in the first 30 overs with 20 boundaries.
Nitschke's departure in the 30th over had no effect on the run chase with Sthalekar joining Blackwell at the crease.
The Australian women's player of the year scored eight boundaries in her 61 from 55 balls to deny New Zealand its first Rose Bowl in almost 10 years.
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Rose Bowl Series - Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars won series 3-2
Sat 8 March: Australia won by 63 runs
Sun 9 March: New Zealand won by 82 runs
Wed 12 March: New Zealand won by five wickets
Sat 15 March: Australia won by 6 runs
Sun 16 March: Australia won by eight wickets
07. April 273
and becoming the first woman to win Olympic Gold At Sydney 2000