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Megan Schutt

Australia overcome batting wobble in low-scoring opener

Pak v Aus, IWC Match 34, report

Australia put in a clinical bowling performance and weathered a shaky batting show to beat Pakistan in the first of their ICC Women’s Championship one-day internationals.

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Pacers Megan Schutt and Nicola Carey picked up three wickets each to bowl the opposition out for 95 at Kinrara Oval on Thursday, 18 October. However, a seemingly simple chase turned tricky when the experienced Sana Mir picked up 3/26.

Chasing a revised target of 92, Australia reached 95/5 in 22.2 overs to complete a five-wicket win by the DLS method.

Mir bowled tight lines and changed her pace cleverly to reduce the No.1-ranked side from 50/1 to 52/3 and then 66/4. Her off-spin was well supported by the left-arm spin of Nashra Sandhu and Anam Amin.

Heavyweights Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry were dismissed for single-digit scores, while Alyssa Healy, Nicole Bolton and Rachael Haynes couldn't build on starts, leaving Pakistan wondering what might have been if they had done better with the bat.

Australia also had Healy and Bolton to thank for starting them off with a measured chase. Healy struck Mir for a straight six, to go with four boundaries, but neither opener was in all-out attack mode. They waited for the loose deliveries and kept the scoreboard ticking in a first-wicket stand of 40 in seven overs.

Pakistan Women made a fight of it in defending a low total, scalping five Australian wickets
Pakistan Women made a fight of it in defending a low total, scalping five Australian wickets

As a result, even with wickets falling, the new batters were not under too much pressure.

Pakistan’s decision to bat first didn’t work for them. Perry gave nothing away, using the short ball to good effect. Schutt’s fine form continued as she reduced the opposition to 24/2 by the 10th over.

Javeria Khan, the captain, and Nahida Khan got starts, with the skipper attacking debutant Georgia Wareham. But Khan also became Wareham’s maiden ODI wicket, and that opened the floodgates.

Carey ran through the middle order. While Mir stuck around on either side of a rain break, she was unable to find the boundary with any regularity and lacked support to take the total to three figures.

Sophie Molineux, Australia’s other debutant, had Sidra Nawaz bowled for a 17-ball duck for her first ODI wicket.

The rain interruption meant Australia had 41 overs in which to get the runs, but that proved more than enough.

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