Monday, March 16, 2009

Australia shows its class with comfortable victory

Australia’s slim hopes of reaching the ICC Women’s World Cup Final remain alive after a comprehensive 107-run win over Pakistan.Half centuries from Shelley Nitschke and Lauren Ebsary were the key to Australia’s victory, which was supported by a tidy bowling performance in the field.Australia’s opening pair of Nitschke (56) and Leah Poulton (47) created a solid base for the home side to build on after an opening stand of 100.Sana Mir (2-35) then grabbed two quick wickets and was then involved in the run-out of Alex Blackwell to reduce Australia to 130-3.Ebsary (51) and Jodie Fields (36) then once again combined to add 69 for the fourth wicket, but a disciplined bowling and fielding display by Pakistan restricted Australia to 229-6 off 50 overs.In reply, some excellent and positive batting from Bismah Maroof (24) and Asmavia Iqbal (36) put Pakistan in contention.But the lack of depth in the Pakistani batting was again exposed when it suffered a dramatic collapse, slipping from 65-1 to 89-7, with Shelley Nitschke and Erin Osborne both bowling tight spells.
Some brave resistance from skipper Urooj Mumtaz (14 not out from 62 balls) saw Pakistan to 122 all out, with Leah Poulton, Ellyse Perry and Rene Farrell all taking two wickets.

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