Game six of the Womenâ€™s World Cup rolls around – on International Womenâ€™s Day no less – and having done just enough to see off the reigning champions England in their first outing at the weekend, Australiaâ€™s bid for a seventh ODI title is very much on track as they head into todayâ€™s encounter with Pakistan.
Pakistan, conversely, got their campaign off to a poor start against old foes India, falling to a 107-run defeat at Bay Oval on Sunday, a loss that was comprehensive enough to see them fall immediately to the bottom of the fledgling eight-team table. Bismah Maroofâ€™s side face a huge task against the worldâ€™s No 1 ODI side if they are to rise off it.
Rachael Haynes took the headlines – and the player of the match award – after Saturdayâ€™s 12-run victory thanks to her impressive knock of 130, with captain Meg Lanning not far behind after falling just 14 runs of a century of her own. Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney also chipped in with destructive innings. In brief, there was enough Australian batting firepower on display – along with the supreme spin of Alana King – to suggest Lanningâ€™s juggernaut is going to be difficult to derail this year.
Australia will be seeking to go top of the table with victory in Mount Maunganui today – Indiaâ€™s net run rate has them top, followed by South Africa and hosts New Zealand with Australia in fourth – while Pakistan are hoping to create a slice of history with their first ever win over Australia in the 50-over format of the game.