ALEX Blackwell and the Southern Stars have defended their Twenty20 World Cup title in style by winning their first two pool games against Pakistan and India.
The side’s latest victory came against Pakistan by 25 runs on the Duckworth Lewis method after rain stopped play in Sri Lanka.
Captain Jodie Fields won the toss and elected to bat in initially sunny conditions at Galle International Cricket Stadium.
Australian openers Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning got the side off to a solid start combining for an opening wicket stand of 53 while Jess Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar combined for a crucial third wicket stand of 67.
Cameron, who was named player of the match, continued on her excellent form from the opening match against India, hitting an impressive 42 of 28 balls, as Blackwell made just five, as the side compiled a competitive 146 for Pakistan to chase.
Ellyse Perry struck in the first over for Australia, dismissing Pakistan Captain Sana Mir, caught behind by Fields.
Julie Hunter claimed a wicket with the first ball of her second over, sending Qanita Jalil back to the dug-out, caught superbly by Cameron in the slips. Perry struck again, dismissing Nihada Khan just before the clouds opened up and rain delayed play in the 9th over with Pakistan 3/38.
In their first game of the tournament the Southern Stars comprehensively beat India by eight wickets.
Right-arm medium pacer Julie Hunter struck first for the Australians, with Jess Cameron catching Anita Sharma (11) at mid-on. Cameron was safe hands again in the sixth over catching Poonam Rout at deep mid-on, off the blowing of Erin Osborne.
Left-armed spinner Jess Jonassen picked up her first wicket in the 12th over, dismissing big-hitting batter Jhulan Goswami (2).
Jonassen was the most economical of the Australian bowlers, and averaged two runs for her three overs and bowled a maiden.
Australia’s great all-round bowling effort restricted the passionate Indians to a modest 104 runs for the chase.
In reply, Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healing got the Southern Stars off to a cracking start combining for a 43-run partnership before Healy (21) was dismissed.
Lanning contributed a classy 39 runs to the chase before she was dismissed by Goswami.
Lanning has now become the first women’s T20 player to get scores over 30 in five consecutive T20 matches.
Cameron continued her superb form from the field, where she took three catches to the crease hitting 36 off 35 to take Australia through to the win in the 17th over.