Bassett helps Diamonds shine

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Captaincy clearly agrees with Caitlin Bassett.

In a dream debut as Australian skipper, Bassett has enjoyed a near perfect shooting display to inspire the world No.1 Diamonds to a 54-50 win over fast finishing England in the Netball Quad Series opener.

The stage was set for an epic showdown between goal shooter Bassett and her Sunshine Coast Lightning captain, veteran England defender Geva Mentor.

But Bassett maintained her Midas touch for 2017, shooting 43 goals at 93 per cent to guide a new look Australia to a perfect start on Saturday.

Australian goal keeper Courtney Bruce was named MVP on debut after effortlessly stepping into the big shoes left behind by Sharni Layton (rested) for the tournament.

Bassett returned to the venue where she helped Sunshine Coast win the Super Netball premiership in their debut year in June.

And she again left the Brisbane Entertainment Centre a winner after a memorable battle with Mentor.

"I am very happy to take home bragging rights to Sunshine Coast because she is such a tough competitor," Bassett, the 24th Diamonds captain, said.

Mentor wasn't so sure if Bassett had claimed a one-on-one win.

"I don't know if it was 1-1 today," she said.

"I don't think she got the better of me and I don't think I got the better of her."

It wasn't just Bassett who earned bragging rights.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander believed they had proven some critics wrong by holding out the world No.3 with the least experienced squad in the Quad Series, which also features New Zealand and South Africa.

England had backed themselves to pull off their first win over the Diamonds on Australian soil in 36 years after picking a squad peppered with Super Netball stars.

The English Roses had hoped to use inside knowledge gleaned from their eight Super Netball players to take the shine off the new-look Diamonds as they looked to secure their first major trophy.

But the hosts still notched their 21st straight win over England on home soil.

"I think we proved all the naysayers about experience levels wrong which I love to do," Alexander said.

"I reminded the players that is was up to them to create their own history today."

The match looked over when Australia jumped to an 11-point lead in the third term but the English rallied, cutting the deficit to just three with 75 seconds left.

But once again Bassett was the steadying influence as Australia took a first confident step toward the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"I really do think once we nail it together we will shine," England coach Tracey Neville, sister of soccer brothers Gary and Philip, said.