Bassett ton to give Diamonds motivation

Captain Caitlin Bassett will play her 100th match for Australia against New Zealand on Sunday.
Captain Caitlin Bassett will play her 100th match for Australia against New Zealand on Sunday.

Fairytale endings have been few and far between for Caitlin Bassett over the past 18 months, but she hopes that will all change during her 100-game milestone for the Diamonds.

Captain Bassett will notch a century of matches for Australia in the winner-takes-all battle against New Zealand at a sold-out RAC Arena in her hometown Perth on Sunday.

The Silver Ferns lead the four-match Constellation Cup series 2-1, but Australia will win the title on percentage if they can triumph in Perth, and that would be a welcome change of fortune for 31-year-old Bassett.

She has enjoyed enormous international success since her 2008 debut, including two world titles, but there have been some heartbreaking results in big games since she took over the captaincy in late 2017.

In July, her team lost the World Cup final to NZ by a goal, having lost the Commonwealth Games final to England by the same margin last year.

Their two losses to NZ in this current series have also been by a single goal.

But a win in Perth on Sunday would see Australia snare the Constellation Cup for a seventh straight year.

The Diamonds notched a win in coach Lisa Alexander's 100-game milestone earlier this month, and goal shooter Bassett hopes history will repeat itself on Sunday.

"For me the last couple of years the fairytale endings haven't come off," Bassett said.

"But it would be cherry on top of the cake (if we can win this Sunday), it would be great.

"We had another great milestone in Lisa's 100th and I think we did find that extra motivation to get that win. It was the Gatorade shower afterwards that we were so driven by.

"For us a milestone is fantastic, but for me it's about the tradition we've had.

"In the past we've retained the Constellation Cup so many times. For me as captain it's that motivation that I want to do what others did before me."

So is Bassett expecting a Gatorade shower if they win?

"I'm hoping for champagne not Gatorade," she said with a laugh.

Bassett said it was fitting her milestone was in Perth, where her glittering career first took off.

"To get out there in front of a crowd who first saw me as an uncoordinated bumbling teenager, and now (have seen me) develop into an uncoordinated bumbling adult - it's pretty exciting," she said.

Australian Associated Press