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Australia off the mark

Karen Rolton

Karen Rolton plays to leg en route to 96 not out which set up Australia's opening win

Pre-tournament favourites Australia got their Women’s World Cup campaign back on track by defeating South Africa by 61 runs in Newcastle today.

The hosts slumped to a surprise defeat to New Zealand on Sunday but this win means they move level on points with West Indies.

Australia skipper Karen Rolton impressed with 96 not out from just 87 deliveries, helping Australia to an imposing 258 for four off their 50 overs.

South Africa had looked on course for achieving their victory target with Trisha Chetty and Cri-Zelda Brits combining for a fine 82-run partnership.

But the fall of two quick wickets dented their momentum as they stumbled to 161 for three with nine overs remaining and then suffered a dramatic collapse, losing seven wickets for just 35 runs and handing the win to Australia.

Rolton said: "It was a good fight for the girls and I thought South Africa batted well. We got off to a bit of a slow start and I would have liked a few more runs early on but to the South Africa girls’ credit, they bowled well.

"It was good to be in the middle. We’ve been working hard to try and get some partnerships going and some batters batting through and making runs because we haven’t been able to do that.

"I’m a little bit disappointed with the way we bowled and that’s something we can work on before our next match against the West Indies."

Mignon du Preez & Trisha Chetty

A maiden one-day fifty for Trisha Chetty (right) could not prevent South Africa's defeat

New Zealand are through to the Super Sixes after beating West Indies by 56 runs at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney.

The White Ferns posted 192 for eight from their 50 overs, with Sarah Tsukigawa top-scoring with an unbeaten 41.

Aimee Mason and Lucy Doolan then claimed three wickets apiece to restrict the Windies to 136 for eight.

Player of the match Tsukigawa said she had waited for the batting powerplay to accelerate the run-rate.

"I came out with a plan of setting myself till the 45th over and we knew we had the PowerPlay to take in the last five overs," she said.

"So it was important to get there and give ourselves a chance to launch from there with a couple of batters still left."

Stand-in New Zealand captain Aimee Mason said: "I am pretty happy with our performance today. It’s always good to lead from the front and I was quite happy with how it went today and obviously very good to get a win as well.

"It wasn’t one of our best performances and was a really hard-fought win. I think we deserved it and we showed the depth in our team, with our batting order and our bowlers doing a great job.

"The bowlers adapted to the pitch which was pretty slow and took a bit of turn."