Australia opened the defence of its Women’s T20 World Cup title with a crushing 97-run win over New Zealand at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.
A half-century by Alyssa Healy and forties by Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry took Australia to a total of 173 for nine after it was sent into bat.
New Zealand lost its two most experienced batters in the first over and never recovered as it was bowled out for just 76.
Off-spinner Ash Gardner took five for 12 after Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown and Perry did the early damage.
Healy made 55 off 38 balls and with captain Meg Lanning (41) set the foundation for the highest total of the first two days of the tournament after Beth Mooney fell for nought off the fourth ball of the match.
Healy and Lanning put on 71 for the second wicket before Lanning was bowled by Amelia Kerr in the 10th over.
Healy and Perry were mainly responsible for Australia adding exactly 100 runs in the second half of their innings, scoring 50 off 28 balls for the fourth wicket.
Perry went on to make 40 off 22 balls with two sixes and three fours.
Schutt delivered a wide which went to the boundary with her first delivery of the New Zealand innings but bowled Suzie Bates with her next ball as Bates swung wildly across the line. Sophie Devine was leg before wicket four balls later.
Bernardine Bezuidenhout (14) and Amelia Kerr (21) added 20 for the third wicket before Bezuidenhout was ruled to have been caught by a diving Brown off Perry, although the decision by television umpire Jacqueline Williams seemed debatable.
The rest of the innings folded rapidly.
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