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Australia survives South Africa scare; New Zealand routs Ireland

Lanning takes Aussies home; Bates completes 2,000 T20I runs

18 March 2016 23:40

Australia survives South Africa scare; New Zealand routs Ireland - Cricket News

Australia survived a scare with both bat and ball before skipper Meg Lanning steered her team home.

· Blackwell – “This was not an easy win, we are not looking too far ahead”

· Bates – “It was a complete performance with bat and ball”

· Photographs from New Zealand-Ireland match available here; photographs from Australia-South Africa match available here. Please credit ICC/Getty Images

· Post-match press conferences and other essential media information can be found here

Three-time defending champion Australia opened its bid for a fourth successive ICC Women’s World Twenty20 title with a hard-fought six-wicket win over South Africa in Nagpur on Friday.

In another Group A match, New Zealand trounced Ireland by 93 runs in Mohali to notch up its second successive win. New Zealand had beaten Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Tuesday.

Australia survived a scare with both bat and ball before skipper Meg Lanning, who felt unwell before the match and was forced to miss the toss and a part of South Africa’s innings, steered her team home.

Chasing South Africa’s 102 for six, Australia collapsed to nine for three and then 53 for four, before Lanning joined hands with Alex Blackwell to put on a match-winning stand of 52 runs.

Blackwell returned unbeaten on 42 and Lanning, who came to bat at the fall of the fourth wicket, scored a 19-ball 30 with five boundaries, as Australia won with nine deliveries to spare.

“Once we lost those three wickets, we decided to bide our time because the target was not very big,” said Blackwell. “It worked in the end.

“I was hoping Meg would not have to bat because she was not feeling well, but she just killed the game with that 30. It made the dressing room relax.

“We are not looking too far ahead, each match is important for us. This was not an easy win and we are in a tough group, so each match is important for us.”

South Africa had made a solid start after electing to take first strike as the opening pair of Dane van Niekerk (45) and Trisha Chetty (34) put on 72 by the 13th over.

But the next seven overs produced just 30 runs for the loss of five wickets as Lauren Cheatle and Ellyse Perry returned with identical figures of two for 13 from their four overs.

New Zealand captain Suzie Bates starred in her team’s emphatic win over Ireland, smashing a 60-ball 82 that was studded with seven boundaries and two sixes.

Electing to bat, New Zealand piled up 177 for three and then kept Ireland down to 84 for five to record a seventh win in the last eight Twenty20 internationals.

Bates became only the fourth woman to complete 2,000 T20 runs when she crossed 19, joining the England duo of Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor, and Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies, in the elite group.

Sophie Devine scored 47 off 34 balls, adding 104 for the second wicket with Bates, before New Zealand restricted Ireland through off-spinner Leigh Kasperek’s one for 10 from four economical overs and leg-spinner Erin Bermingham’s two for 17.

Irish skipper Isobel Joyce played a lone hand for her side with 28.

“It was a very pleasing win because it was a complete performance with bat and ball,” said Bates. “We needed such a win because we play Australia next and have to be at the top of our game.”

Joyce rued Ireland’s "poor" display in the field, but hoped her team had learnt a good lesson.

“We performed poorly and it was never going to be easy chasing 178,” she said. “They are a very professional side and I hope our girls have learnt from them.

“There is no point thinking of the defeat for too long. The important thing is to recover quickly.”

Summarised scores:

New Zealand beat Ireland by 93 runs in Mohali
New Zealand 177-3, 20 overs (Suzie Bates 82, Sophie Devine 47)
Ireland 84-5, 20 overs (Isobel Joyce 28; Erin Bermingham 2-17)

Australia beat South Africa by six wickets in Nagpur
South Africa 102-6, 20 overs (Dane van Niekerk 45, Trisha Chetty 34; Lauren Cheatle 2-13, Ellyse Perry 2-13)
Australia 105-4, 18.3 overs (Alex Blackwell 42 not out, Meg Lanning 30 not out; Shabnim Ismail 2-15)

Saturday’s fixture:
India v Pakistan (1530), New Delhi