Australia eves beat world champions New Zealand

Published: Thursday, March 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Pretoria:Red-hot favourites Australia edged out defending champions New Zealand by 32 runs in an absorbing encounter at the LD de Villiers Oval here.

Batting first, Australia recovered from a top-order collapse as they plunged to 50 for five before Alex Blackwell and Cathryn Fitzpatrick steadied the ship with a fighting stand of 85 to lift them to 174 for 7 off 50 overs.

Blackwell scored a fine 53 while Fitzpatrick weighted in with 43.

Set 174 for victory, Aussies had New Zealand on the ropes at at 23 for 3. Rebecca Rolls and Haidee Tiffin solidified the innings as they raised 77 runs for the fourth wicket. Karen Rolton produced a lively spell to take 3 for 22 tilt the balance in Australia's favour. Rebecca Rolls was the top-scorer for the Kiwis with a workmanlike knock of 60.

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