Electing to bat, Australia made a strong comeback from eight for three to score 130 for four. After Shabnim Ismail bowled Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner, the three-time defending champions were 38 for four in 10.1 overs before Lanning (65 not out) and Rachel Haynes (29 not out) added 92 runs to put up a challenging score.
South Africa were never in the chase as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen grabbed three for 11 while rookie fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck and Nicola Carey grabbed two wickets each. Vlaeminck, 20, who has yet to make her T20I debut, bowled Lizelle Lee with the first ball of the innings and looked quite impressive.
Australia captain Meg Lanning: “Pretty challenging times with the bat. Initially (the pitch) was skiddy, you had to be patient, it was more than a normal T20 game. For our team, it was a very good learning curve for what we need to do. We know our batting line-up is strong and even if we lose early wickets we have people who will come and do the job for us.”
South Africa all-rounder Sune Luus: “We bowled nicely throughout, restricting them to 130. Obviously, Meg played a key role. I think we produced a good bowling and fielding performance. The batting let us down today and that is something we need to work out. Meg had the patience to work it around for ones and twos and she built partnerships… that is something that we have struggled with.”
In the second match of the day, Pakistan scored 106 for seven after electing to bat. Bismah Maroof, included in the squad quite late as she was recovering after a sinus surgery, slammed 22 to show her fitness while captain Javeria Khan chipped in with 21. For Bangladesh, captain Salma Khatun and Khadiza-Tul Kubra grabbed two wickets each.
Bismah also grabbed two wickets with her useful slow bowling as Pakistan held off Bangladesh’s challenge and restricted them to below the three-figure mark. Former captain Sana Mir, who recently became the top-ranked bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Women’s Player Rankings, also took two wickets, as did Aiman Anwar.
Pakistan captain Javeria Khan: “We won the match but we want to see what we can do better. Today I was disappointed with the way we batted. These warm-up matches have helped us and we want to keep improving. It was good that Bismah could get some runs and bowl some overs because we lacked a player who could do that. I’ve been batting well but I should convert them to 30s 40s and 50s, stay positive and get a big score.:
Bangladesh coach Anju Jain: “One part of the match was good. We did not get the kind of start we were looking for. Bowling and fielding was good. Batting was not up to the mark today but we can do better and are confident going into the tournament. Spin has been our strength and we have been doing well. The pitch was pretty good, something there for everyone. It’s a good surface to play on.”
Australia 130-4, 20 overs (Meg Lanning 65 not out, Rachael Haynes 29 not out, Beth Mooney 20; Shabnim Ismail 2-19).
South Africa 84-9, 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 14; Jess Jonassen 3-11, Tayla Vlaeminck 2-10, Nicola Carey 2-12)
Pakistan 106-7, 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 22, Javeria Khan 21; Salma Khatun 2-19, Khadiza-Tul Kubra 2-18)
Bangladesh 98-9, 20 overs (Fargana Hoque 28; Bismah Maroof 2-12, Aiman Anwar 2-13, Sana Mir 2-14).
©Cricket World 2018