Healy, Lanning Centuries Crush Windies In Opener

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Captain Stafanie Taylor’s dogged half-century was in vain as dominant hundreds by Player-of-the-Match Alyssa Healy and skipper Meg Lanning fired Australia Women to a crushing 178-run victory over West Indies Women in the opening One-Day International on Thursday.

In the day/night affair at Coolidge Cricket Ground here, the Aussies recovered from the loss of Rachael Haynes to the first ball of the match to amass 308 for four off their 50 overs – their fifth highest total in ODIs.

Healy struck 122 off 105 deliveries with 12 fours and two sixes, while Lanning also carved out a dozen fours and lashed four sixes in a 146-ball knock.

The pair put on 225 in a record second wicket stand, laying the basis for their massive total after they were sent in.

Even after the partnership was broken, Lanning added a further 46 for the third wicket with Ellyse Perry (33 not out), who then put on a further 35 for the fourth wicket with Beth Mooney (15).

Fast bowler Shamilia Connell snared two for 53 from her 10 overs as the home side’s attack struggled to contain the Aussies.

In reply, West Indies never challenged the Australian score and limped to 130 all out in the 38th over; Taylor the only one to display any enterprise with an unbeaten 70 off 115 deliveries.

The Jamaican right-hander was just one of two batsmen in double figures; the other being Chinelle Henry with 14.

Taylor arrived at the crease when opener Natasha McLean was bowled by pacer Megan Schutt off the first ball of the innings, and defied the Aussie attack, striking five fours and a six to notch her 34th ODI half-century.

Fast bowler Perry was the best bowler with three for 17 while leg-spinner Georgia Wareham supported with two for 44.

Already rocked by the loss of marquee opener and vice-captain Hayley Matthews, who was suspended for disciplinary reasons prior to the match, West Indies found their batting predictably short.

Their start was wretched; Stacy-Ann King following her partner McLean without scoring, bowled in the second over by Perry with four runs on the board.

And with four runs added, Perry struck in her next over when she trapped Kyshona Knight lbw also without scoring to leave the Windies innings in strife.

Taylor anchored the two best stands of the innings, adding 31 for the fifth wicket with Henry and another 36 for the sixth with Afy Fletcher (3).

West Indies had to do without the services of Kycia Knight who suffered a lower back injury while fielding and could not bat.

The second ODI is carded for the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground on Sunday. (CMC)

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