Australia continue Women’s World Cup charge despite wobble against West Indies | Women’s Cricket World Cup

Rachael Haynes held firm as a wobbly Australia claimed a seven-wicket World Cup win over West Indies. Australia were seven for two chasing their opponents’ meagre 131 all out at the Basin Reserve, with Alyssa Healy (three) and Meg Lanning (out for a duck) caught cold in the icy Wellington wind.

But Haynes, the leading run-scorer at the tournament, ensured there would be no capitulation, steering Australia to victory with an unbeaten 81. The day belonged to the bowlers, with Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner both taking three wickets to blitz the West Indies.

Perry was the early destroyer in Wellington, claiming two wickets in her first over to finish with three for 22. All-rounder Gardner then joined in with three for 25, including the crucial dismissal of West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor.

With Darcie Brown – the White Ferns’ chief irritant – rested, Lanning instead elected to use Perry with the wind in Wellington. Perry started with a pair of wides before swinging a beautifully pitched ball past Hayley Matthews and into the top of her off-stump.

Perry had Kycia Knight caught behind the next ball, and went on to claim the dangerous Deandra Dottin for 16 in a marathon eight-over stint from the scoreboard end.

World No 1 ranked ODI bowler Jess Jonassen was restored to the side along with Annabel Sutherland for Brown and Amanda-Jade Wellington, but it was all-rounder Gardner did the damage through the middle order.

Gardner – in her second match back after catching Covid-19 – tempted Shemaine Campbelle into a rash shot and then bowled Chedean Nation to leave West Indies 70 for five. An unfortunate run out did not help them and they were unable to build partnerships all afternoon.

Ash Gardner’s three for 25 was crucial to keeping West Indies’ score down.
Ash Gardner’s three for 25 was crucial to keeping West Indies’ score down. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/AAP

Taylor spent 39 overs at the crease but lost partner after partner on her way to 50 before Gardner trapped her in front in the 41st over. Jonassen (two for 18) took the last two wickets.

The small total should have been a cakewalk for Australia, though they gave West Indies plenty of opportunity for an upset. Healy looked disgusted with herself after she was caught and bowled by Hayley Matthews in the second over. Lanning followed her for a duck seven days later, advancing down the pitch only to edge Shamilia Connell to Matthews at slip.

In need of a steadying innings, Haynes provided it – just. She survived two lbw reviews early in the innings and a run out attempt, just before Perry fell driving off Chinelle Henry.

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Haynes offered Taylor and Shakera Selman chances in the field that neither could take, combining with Beth Mooney for a 74-run stand as Australia reached their total three down.

Though a contrast to the 141-run defeat of New Zealand two days earlier, victory for Australia was never seriously threatened.

The win is Australia’s fourth straight at the tournament, and as the only unbeaten side, they sit alone on top of the World Cup standings. Their next assignment is the last team to beat them at a World Cup – India, on Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland.

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