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Cricket - 10. March 2008.

Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars take early Rose Bowl Series lead

The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have taken an early lead in the five-match Rose Bowl Series with a comprehensive 63-run victory over New Zealand in Lincoln this afternoon.

Chasing 5-189, New Zealand was bowled out for 126 in the 42nd over as the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars rebounded from Thursday Twenty20 loss with an all-round team performance.

Alex Blackwell top-scored for Australia with 44 and opening partner Shelley Nitschke added 38 in a first-wicket stand 76.

In contrast to Thursday's uncharacteristic effort, all of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' batters produced handy contributions. None were more effective than Jodie Purves who compiled a brisk 29 from 23 balls late in the innings in her first match back from injury.

A partnership between Purves and Kate Blackwell (27 from 32) added 42 in six overs late in the innings to ensure New Zealand were forced to chase a competitive total.

The Australian attack was able to keep consistent pressure on New Zealand's batters and only captain Haidee Tiffen (37 not out) was able to withstand the pressure as regular wickets fell around her.

At 2-59 in the 20th over, New Zealand appeared in a good position to challenge for victory, but Amy Satterthwaite's dismissal for 24 soon after the drinks break was the key moment of their innings as Australia assumed control.

The wicket-taking for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars was evenly spread with Emma Sampson, Kirsten Pike and Lisa Sthalekar claiming two each, and Ellyse Perry and Sarah Andrews one apiece.

The second match of the series will be played at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln tomorrow.

- more -

Rose Bowl Series

Sun 9 March: Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v New Zealand, 10.30am

Wed 12 March: Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v New Zealand, 10.30am

Sat 15 March: Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v New Zealand, 10.30am

Sun 16 March: Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v New Zealand, 10.30am

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