Ellyse Perry has clubbed her maiden one-day international century to inspire Australia to a series-clinching 95-run win against New Zealand.
Perry’s majestic unbeaten 107 from 110 balls underpinned Australia’s 7-247 on Sunday at Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval.
In reply, New Zealand crashed to 152 all out, with Perry striking an early blow and spinner Jess Jonassen taking a career-best 5-27.
The victory gives Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the best-of-three series that concludes on Sunday in Melbourne.
And it extends Australia’s two-decade dominance over the Kiwis. Australia hasn’t lost a ODI series to New Zealand since February 1999.
Perry had made four ODI scores in the 90s – three of them unbeaten.
And reaching the milestone on Sunday was a near-thing.
With two balls left in the innings, Perry was on 97. The right-hander thumped a lofted drive that was dropped at deep mid-on by Anna Peterson, and the ball spilled through her hands and into the rope.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 24, 2019
“It was fortunate that she misjudged it,” Perry said.
“That’s cricket … those things go your way sometimes and, other times, they don’t.”
Perry downplayed the significance of her breakthrough century.
“It’s just a number. I have never really worried too much about it,” she said.
“Sure, it’s cool to say now that I have scored a hundred for Australia. But in the scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal for me, to be honest.”
Perry was supported by handy knocks from Alyssa Healy, who was dropped twice in making 46 from 75 balls, and Beth Mooney (42 from 52 balls).
Perry then took the new ball and dismissed the dangerous Suzie Bates (11) and returned 1-5 from her initial four overs.
She finished with 1-15 from seven overs.
Sophie Devine (47 from 59 balls) and Amy Satterthwaite (37 from 54 deliveries) gave the visitors a sniff with a brisk 67-run stand for the third wicket.
But Devine’s demise triggered a collapse of 8-59, with left-arm tweaker Jonassen the chief destroyer.
Satterthwaite said her batters failed to heed the lessons from Perry’s ton.
“She (Perry) has got one of the best set of minds on her … to be able absorb pressure,” Satterthwaite said.
“She has showed a lot of people how to produce a quality one-day innings.”