Mumbai, Feb 8 (IANS) Australia brushed aside current champions England here Friday to begin their Super Six section of the ICC Women's World Cup cricket with aplomb.
Despite a shaky start with the bat against the reigning champions, the side managed to turn things around for its time in the field and eventually won the thrilling game by two runs, despite some valiant batting by England's Holly Colvin and Anya Shrubsole.
In the other game in Mumbai, New Zealand brought Sri Lanka back down to earth after their recent run of victories with Suzie Bates' side crushing the Islanders by eight wickets.
The highest scoring match of the day, in Cuttack, saw Stafanie Taylor lead the West Indies run-chase to ensure the side beat South Africa by two wickets at Barabati Stadium.
The day began well for the England side with Charlotte Edwards' side winning the toss and choosing to field in the morning sun at the Brabourne Stadium. The choice proved wise for England as they had the Australians reeling at 32 for five in the 12th over. However, stylish all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar came to the side's rescue.
The 33-year-old, who was in fact born in Maharashtra, steadied the innings with a hard-fought 41, while others fell around her to the bowling of Katherine Brunt and in-form bowler Anya Shrubsole claimed wickets-galore. Sarah Coyte once again also showed her mettle for the Australian side to add 44 to the total, with side eventually all out for 147, its lowest score against England in World Cup.
In reply, England were swept aside by some spectacular bowling by fast bowler Holly Ferling, the 17-year-old, playing in her second ODI for Australia, claimed Danielle Wyatt, Lydia Greenway and Jenny Gunn to finish the game with figures of 3-35.
Megan Schutt began the innings on a high for Australia dismissing danger-women Charlotte Edwards for eight and Sarah Taylor for a duck.
England were left wobbling on 39 for six after Gunn's departure but Laura Marsh added key runs which set up Shrubsole and Colvin in their last ditch attempt to save the game for England. The pair came within a hair's breadth away from victory, with just three runs required off 18 balls, the duo looked set to lead the side to a stunning win, but Erin Osborne had other plans.
She tempted Colvin into edging a ball to Fields and the safe hands of the Australian 'keeper secured Australia their first win of the Super Six stage.
At Cricket Club of India:
Australia 147 all out, 44.4 overs (Sthalekar 41, Coyte 44; Shrubsole 3-24, Colvin 2-19)
England 145 all out, 47.3 overs (Greenway 49; Ferling 3-35, Hunter 2-15, Schutt 2-37)
Australia won by two runs
At Bandra-Kurla Complex:
Sri Lanka 103 all out, 42 overs (Manodara 34, Rasangika 20; Tahuhu 4-27, Ruck 3-16)
New Zealand 108-2, 23 overs (Mackay 39 not out, Devine 29 not out, Bates 37)
New Zealand won by eight wickets
South Africa 230-7, 50 overs (Chetty 45, Brits 44, van Niekerk 33 not out; Smartt 2-10)
West Indies 234-8, 45.3 overs (Kycia Knight 46, Taylor 75, Campbelle 33; Van Niekerk 3-47)
West Indies won by two wickets