The 15th match of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup was played between reigning champions Australia and Pakistan at Grace Road, Leicester, on Wednesday. Aussie skipper Meg Lanning missed out due to a shoulder problem and was replaced by Rachel Haynes who was also given the responsibility to captain the side. Haynes won the toss and elected to bat first. Pakistan opted for one change; Javeria Khan was replaced by Marina Iqbal.
Pakistani pacers started off brilliantly, took early wickets and restricted Australia to 60 for 3 from 20 overs. Initially Sana Mir and team had done everything right to contain the Aussie batters and kept them under pressure. I know you’ve seen/read the same script in the previous two matches played by Pakistan as well: they kept England batters in check in the early overs only to let loose at the later stage of the match and a similar pattern was witnessed in the match against India. Just like those two matches, Pakistani fielding let the team down once again; the pressure was released courtesy super consistent Ellyse Perry and dangerous Elyse Villani. These two put up 83 runs for the fourth wicket; Villani played the role of a power hitter while Perry kept the scoreboard ticking. Later end of the innings saw fireworks from Alyssa Healy, she remained not out on 63(40). Australia despite a poor start managed to score 290, Sana Mir took 3 wickets. The fickle Pakistani batting once again failed to handle the scoreboard pressure and could only manage 131 runs. Sana Mir was the highest scorer with 45 and Kristen Beams took 3 wickets in her comeback game.
Australia continue to maintain their 100% winning record and are inching closer towards the semi-final berth, they’ll face hosts England on Sunday. Today’s loss puts Pakistan in the elimination zone. They need to regroup and learn from their mistakes before their next game against New Zealand on Saturday.
Pakistan vs Australia ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
Australia were in a spot of bother when Elyse Villani came out to bat; they had just lost their captain Rachel Haynes and the scoreboard showed 60 for 3 from 20 overs. Villani who scored a first ball duck in the previous game had a lot to prove in this match. She didn’t disappoint one bit, she accelerated the score and in no time had a fifty to her credit. Villani hit 5 fours and 4 sixes in a cracking innings of 59 runs off 40 balls. Her partnership with Ellyse Perry rescued Australia from the sluggish start and set the tone for the batters to follow.
The entire Aussie attack was exceptional throughout the match but Jess Jonassen was the pick of the bowlers, in her quota of 10 overs: she took the opening wicket of Nahida Khan and then went on to bowl 6 maidens and got hit for only 12 runs at an economy rate of 1.20.