Cuttack: Australia started their ICC Women's World Cup campaign on a sound note, whipping Pakistan by 91 runs in their group B league opener, here, at the Barabati Stadium, on Friday.
Opting to bat, Australian women could manage only 175 in 46.1 overs on a slow Barabati track. But then, they bowled with a lot of purpose to skittle Pakistan out for a paltry 84 in 33.2 overs. Veteran all-rounder of Indian origin, Lisa Sthalekar, contributed with a useful 32 and bowled nine overs of disciplined off-break stuff to grab two for 19. Another notable performer was Sarah Coyte, who took three wickets and scored 35 runs.
It didn't turn out to be a good day at all for Australian batswomen, as only opener Rachel Haynes (39) was the only other to gone passed the 30-run mark besides Sthalekar and Coyte.
As many as 17 wides bowled by Pakistani women played a part in lifting Australia's total to beyond 150. Left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, grabbing three for 30, while Asmavia Iqbal chipped in with two wickets.
The target wasn't a big one at all. Yet, the Pakistan batting imploded. Save 21-year-old batswoman Bismah Maroof's 43, only Nadia Yousuf could reach double figures.
There were absolutely no partnerships and the Pakistan women found it extremely difficult to get going against the pace trio ' Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and Coyte.
Coyte was the most successful bowler with figures three for 20, while Perry and Schutt took two and one wicket respectively.
The day witnessed a smooth beginning of the World Cup in Cuttack.
There were protests outside the stadium, but inside a near-empty Barabati Stadium there was no disturbance during the match.
The Group B matches of the World Cup were shifted to Odisha after Maharashtra and Gujarat refused to host the games involving the Pakistani team in the backdrop of tensions at the LoC.
"We are happy that Pakistani players have come, are staying and playing the first match without having any problem," an Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) official said.
Australia 175 in 46.1 overs (R. Haynes 39, S. Coyte 35; Sadia Yousuf 3/30). Pakistan 84 in 33.2 overs (B. Maroof 43; Sarah Coyte 3/20).
Australia won by 91 runs.