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Defending champions Aussies off to winning start

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Christchurch: Defending champions Australia began their campaign in the Women's World Cup 2000 on a winning note by recording an emphatic six-wicket victory over hosts New Zealand in the first match.An unbeaten 51 from the blade of vice-captain Karen Rolton off 54 balls with five fours and one six was the highlight of the Australian triumph. Australia reached 167 for four off 47.3 overs in reply to New Zealand's 166 for nine off 50 overs.Australia won the toss and sent New Zealand into bat. New Zealand skipper Emily Drumm scored a polished 74 off 111 balls with seven hits to the fence, but did not get much support from the other end. Though New Zealand played out the full 50 overs they were not able to put up a challenging total on the board.New Zealand were reduced to 48 for five before recovering through a 71-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Drumm and Kathryn Ramel (32 runs, 60 balls, three fours). Australia lost an early wicket when skipper Belinda Clark was bowled for one by Katrina Keenan with the total on eight. The defending champions recovered through a second wicket partnership of 59 runs between opener Lisa Keightley (44) and Joanne Broadbent (25).The Aussies then cruised through on the fourth wicket partnership of 71 runs between Rolton and Cherie Bambury (38 runs, 59 balls, three fours). The top scoring effort of New Zealand skipper Emily Drumm thus went in vain.

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