Australia survive batting hiccup to beat Proteas

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Three-time champions Australia flexed their muscle with a 46-run victory over South Africa, as they warmed up for their Women’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign with a strong performance on Tuesday in Guyana.
Playing at the Guyana National Stadium, Australia gathered 130 for four off their 20 overs, with captain Meg Lanning hitting an unbeaten 65 off 51 deliveries.
Opting to bat, the 2016 losing finalists were in turmoil at eight for three in the third over before Lanning arrived to anchor a 92-run fifth wicket stand with Rachael Haynes who hit an unbeaten 29 off 27 balls.
In reply, South Africa slumped to 84 for nine of their allotted overs as left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen claimed three for 11 while seamers Tayla Vlaeminck (2-10) and Nicola Carey (2-12) ended with two wickets apiece.
Only three batsmen reached double figures but none passed 14 as South Africa lost their second official ICC warm-up match on the bounce.
Lanning said the pitch had been difficult to score on but backed her batting unit to always adapt.
“[We had] pretty challenging times with the bat. Initially [the pitch] was skiddy, you had to be patient, it was more than a normal T20 game,” she said.
“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.”
The Aussies open their preliminary round campaign against Pakistan at the same venue on Friday, in the second match of a triple-header.
South Africa, meanwhile, will have five days off before their opening match against Sri Lanka in St. Lucia next Monday, and all-rounder Sune Luus said work needed to be done on their batting in the meantime.
“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,” she said.
“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 other official warm-up at the same venue, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by eight runs.

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