New Zealand v Australia: Tourists claim six-wicket win in first Twenty20

Ashleigh Gardner drives down the ground
Ashleigh Gardner hit six fours and three sixes in her 48-ball 73
First Twenty20, Seddon Park, Hamilton
New Zealand 130-6 (20 overs): Satterthwaite 40 (31), Jonassen 3-26
Australia 133-4 (18 overs): Gardner 73*, J Kerr 2-17
Australia won by six wickets

Ashleigh Gardner helped world champions Australia overcome New Zealand by six wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Twenty20 series.

Gardner's unbeaten 73 from 48 balls helped Australia recover from 14-3 as they chased 131 with 12 balls to spare.

She shared an unbroken 71-run stand with Ellyse Perry, who was playing in her first international match for a year after a lengthy injury break.

New Zealand earlier posted 130-6 after being asked to bat first in Hamilton.

Australia have won 32 of their 38 completed T20 matches in the past three years.

All-rounder Jess Jonassen took 3-26 as New Zealand struggled to accelerate, despite 40 from Amy Satterthwaite.

However, Australia slipped to 3-2 inside the first two overs, with Alyssa Healy caught at cover before Beth Mooney edged Jess Kerr to slip.

Once captain Meg Lanning fell, Australia were facing a difficult task, but Gardner went on the attack, hitting Amelia Kerr for back-to-back sixes to swing the match back in the tourists' favour.

Although all-rounder Perry did not bowl, she hit the winning runs for Australia, her unbeaten 23 coming from 16 balls.

The second match of the series takes place on Tuesday in Napier.

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