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Australia not finished yet

Leah Poulton

Leah Poulton shared an opening stand of 100 with partner Shelley Nitschke

Defending champions Australia kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the women's World Cup final with a resounding 107-run victory over Pakistan in a must-win encounter at Bankstown Oval in Sydney.

Half-centuries from Shelley Nitschke (56 off 64 balls) and Lauren Ebsary (51 off 71), plus 47 from Leah Poulton, allowed Australia to post 229 for six from their 50 overs.

Pakistan were then dismissed for just 122 with 29 balls to spare.

Australia must now win their remaining Super Six encounter with England at North Sydney Oval on Thursday to have any hopes of reaching Sunday’s showpiece, but will still need other results to fall in their favour.

"It's always good to win at a World Cup, every game's a tough one and it's good to see all of the nations really pushing each other," said stand-in captain Alex Blackwell.

"We've had a pretty tough run but we're really pleased with the win today."

While Blackwell concedes there is still a mountain to climb in order reach the final, she warned unbeaten England to prepare for a tough encounter.

"We're a team that's more than capable of beating England and we're very confident that we can do that," she said.

After winning the toss, Australia took advantage of their decision to bat as Nitschke and Poulton put on 100 for the first wicket. Jodie Fields also contributed a quickfire 36 off 41 balls to set Pakistan an imposing total.

The Pakistan openers set a good early pace but lost Nain Abidi (27), Bismah Maroof (13) and Asmavia Iqbal (36) to leave them 80 for four midway through the innings. But it was all downhill from there.

Rene Farrell (2-23), Ellyse Perry (2-16) and Poulton (2-9) all chipped in with wickets for Australia.