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Aussies bounce back against India at World Cup

Cricket

Australian skipper Meg Lanning was delighted with her side's reaction to Sunday's loss to England after India were brushed aside by eight wickets at Bristol overnight, Australian time.

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A much-improved Australia bounced back from their three-run loss to the host nation to cement their spot in the semi-finals of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

England’s 76-run win over New Zealand keeps them at the top of the table on net run rate, with Australia in second.

South Africa, who play the world champions on Saturday, move up to third following their eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka, with India falling to fourth and New Zealand to fifth.

Australia will finish top of the group if they beat the Proteas Women at Taunton and England lose to the West Indies.

That scenario would keep them in Bristol, where they’ve played four of their six matches, but finishing second or third would see the side move north to Derby.

India and New Zealand will face off on Saturday in what is essentially a playoff for a last-four spot.

Chasing 227 after holding India to 7/226 Australia made light work of their target, reaching it in 45 overs.

“I thought it was a pretty good overall performance,” Lanning said.

“I thought all of our bowlers did a really good job from the start and were able to keep the pressure on India.

“We were able to take wickets at regular intervals which sort of allowed us to keep the total down to one we were pretty confident we could chase down.

“It was a nice way to bounce back.”

Lanning (76 not out) and Ellyse Perry (60 not out) underlined their status as two of the biggest stars in the women’s game with a 124-run partnership to seal the win.

It was the eighth-time the duo have shared a century-stand with Lanning, now just a single shy of scoring 3000 ODI runs.

“We enjoy ourselves, when we’re out there,” she said.

“We know if you put pressure on the bowlers it will become a bit easier and the longer you bat the easier it gets.

“Batting and three and four is a key position in the line up and important once we are out there we put a big partnership together.”

After winning the toss and electing to field, Australia struck early to reduce India to 1/26 only for skipper Mithali Raj and opener Punam Raut (106) to put on 155 for the second wicket.

Raj then became the first female player to pass 6000 ODI runs with a six off Kristen Beams before she was caught and bowled by the leg-spinner for 69.

Raut’s brilliant knock ended when she tried to hook Perry for six but could only pick out Nicole Bolton on the boundary rope.

The opener’s departure led to a procession of wickets, as the world champions fought back as India lost 5-23 with Perry finishing with 2-37 and Megan Schutt 2-52.

-AAP

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