Molly Strano, the offspinner, produced a career-best 5 for 10 in her four overs. © Getty Images

Molly Strano, the offspinner, produced a career-best 5 for 10 in her four overs. © Getty Images

Anna Peterson’s last over hat-trick gave New Zealand Women an eight-run win over Australia Women in a rain-affected second Twenty20 International at Simonds Stadium in Geelong on Sunday (February 19). The win helped the visiting side level the three-match series.

Sent in to bat, New Zealand were kept to 101 for 9 after Molly Strano, the offspinner, produced a career-best 5 for 10 in her four overs. Chasing a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 70 in 13 overs, Australia had reached 59 for 5 before the start of the final over, but Peterson struck with her first three deliveries and Strano was run out off the last.

Having been set a 102-run target, Australia looked well-placed to seal the series. But New Zealand’s bowlers struck regularly before heavy rain forced a break, throwing the home side off their game.

Holly Huddleston, the right-arm pacer, got an early breakthrough, sending back Beth Mooney in the second over. Ashleigh Gardner was run out for the second time in as many games after that, and Australia were in a spot when Erin Bermingham, the legpsinner, bowled Meg Lanning, the captain, for nine.

Australia were 35 for 3 in eight overs when rain intervened, and they were subsequently given a revised target of 35 in 30 balls. It came down to 11 runs needed off the last over with Alyssa Healy and Alex Blackwell still in the middle. However, Peterson’s hat-trick, in what was her only over in the match, ensured a thrilling finish.

It was only the sixth hat-trick in women’s T20Is and the first by a New Zealand bowler; the last time a New Zealand bowler got an international hat-trick was back in February 1996, when Emily Drumm achieved the feat in a One-Day International against Australia in Adelaide.

Earlier, New Zealand started solidly with Suzie Bates and Rachel Priest putting on a 38-run opening stand in 5.2 overs. Priest became Strano’s first victim when she was stumped for a run-a-ball 20. Bates (30 in 34 balls) continued the good work in collaboration with Amy Satterthwaite, who scored 13, but there wasn’t too much else coming from their batters. Strano, after that first strike, had to wait for the death overs to complete her haul, picking up the last four wickets to fall, three of them in the final over of the innings.

The series decider will be played at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.