Meg Lanning celebrates the run out of West Indies’ Anis Mohammed with Jess Jonassen (R) (Reuters: Peter Cziborra)
Skipper Meg Lanning hailed her players after Australia opened their Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign against the West Indies in ruthless fashion.
The defending champions strolled to an eight-wicket win after rolling the Windies for 204 and cruised to their modest target with 11.5 overs to spare thanks to an opening stand of 171 between Nicole Bolton (103 not out) and Beth Mooney (70).
“We started off really well with the ball,” Lanning said.
“Although we didn’t get as many early wickets as we would have liked we were keeping them under control and then took wickets at crucial times.
“Bolton and Mooney really then set the tone there and put a good base together for us to chase down the total comfortably.
“I’m very happy with the start and I don’t think we could have asked for much more.”
Three wickets from Ellyse Perry contributed to the 2013 finalists being dismissed with 13 balls remaining in an excellent all-round display from the Australian bowlers.
The match started in chaotic fashion at the toss when Windies skipper Stefanie Taylor called correctly and elected to bat.
However, midway through her pre-match interview with commentator Ian Bishop, she changed her mind, only for Lanning to object and insist on having the ICC rulebook checked.
After much debate, match referee David Dukes adjudicated that Taylor’s first call had to stand.
Emboldened by the no-nonsense approach from their captain, Australia were excellent in the field with Perry the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 3-37.
Kristen Beams and Jess Jonassen also chipped in with two scalps apiece and two wickets fell to run outs.
The West Indies started steadily as they reached 4-157 only for their middle order to collapse.
Taylor (45), Hayley Matthews (41), Chedean Nation (39) and Deandra Dottin (29) were the only players to reach double figures.
In Australia’s innings, Mooney departed for 70 after misjudging a full-length delivery from Taylor and Lanning (12) became her opposite number’s second wicket when Matthews raced from long-off to take a superb catch.