Australia has cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Pakistan to reaffirm its status as World Cup favourites.
Australia has cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in Mount Maunganui to reaffirm its status as favourites at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Meg Lanning’s side secured its second straight World Cup victory after chasing down the 191-run target at Bay Oval with more than 15 overs to spare.
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Two years after the unforgettable Women’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG, wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy smacked another blistering half-century to guide the Aussies towards victory.
Australia has now won 33 of its 35 ODIs since the 2017 World Cup semi-final.
After Lanning won the toss and elected to bat first, Pakistan’s openers were dismissed cheaply in the Powerplay with seamers Megan Schutt and Ellyse Perry snaring early breakthroughs.
Australian leg-spinner Alana King then removed Omaima Sohail in her first over of the match, bowling the right-handed batter through the gate to leave the Pakistanis reeling at 3/38 in the 11th over.
Fellow tweaker Amanda-Jade Wellington, playing her first international fixture since March 2018, then replicated the feat by dismissing the dangerous Nida Dar in her first over of the day.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof and No. 6 Aliya Riaz steadied the ship, combining for a crucial 99-run partnership to help register a defendable total of 6/190 at Bay Oval.
Maroof celebrated her half-century by pointing towards the pavilion where her seven-month-old baby Fatima was watching on.
King and Wellington were the pick of the bowlers for Australia, collectively taking 3/49 from 17 economical overs.
Healy and Rachael Haynes cracked 59 runs in the Powerplay to get Australia’s run chase off to a blistering start before the left-handed Haynes clipped a full delivery from tweaker Nashra Sandhu straight to mid-wicket.
Lanning combined with Healy for a 63-run stand before the Aussie skipper was bowled by spinner Omaima Sohail for 35.
Player of the Match Healy, the world’s No. 1 ranked ODI batter, pummelled 72 from 79 balls before falling victim to Sohail’s spin in the 29th over.
It was her 14th ODI fifty and third against Pakistan.
Perry and Beth Mooney finished the job, cruising towards the target with 91 deliveries and seven wickets to spare. The victory extended Australia’s unbeaten ODI record against Pakistan to 13 consecutive games.
South Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath missed Tuesday’s fixture with a sore heel, while teenage quick Darcie Brown was rested.
Australia will next face hosts New Zealand on Sunday, with the first ball scheduled for 9am AEDT.