THE first upset in the ICC Women's World Cup happened in the first Group A match when New Zealand beat holders Australia at North Sydney. The margin was on Duckworth-Lewis, but New Zealand were deserved winners.
Put into bat, the New Zealanders were bowled out for 205 in 48 overs -- which should have been more after the score had risen to 171-3 in 40 overs with a batting PowerPlay in hand. Australia had struggled to 132-6 before the match was abandoned due to bad light and light showers.
The victory enhanced New Zealandís chances of topping Group A with matches still to come against the West Indies and South Africa before the the Super Six stage and the March 22 final.
At Newcastle the West Indies defeated South Africa by two wickets with eight balls to spare in a hard-fought match, a result which should mean South African elimination, as they seem certain to finish bottom after matches against Australia and New Zealand, both likely defeats.
Stafanie Taylor, 17, was the star for the West Indies when she recorded impressive figures of 8.2-2-17-4 as South Africa were bowled out for 116 in 45.2 overs after losing the last seven wickets for 22 runs.
Australia and New Zealand game was naturally the feature match of the day, which started with ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat joining the players, match officials and spectators in observing a minuteís silence out of respect for those people killed or injured during last week's terrorist attack on Sri Lanka in Lahore.
New Zealand's captain Haidee Tiffen provided her team with the platform for a commanding score, but poor stroke-play and a tactical error led to the loss of the last seven wickets for only 36 runs off eight overs.
While the Australia team took PowerPlays between 11 and 15 overs in which New Zealand scored 29 runs and lost one wicket, New Zealand delayed batting PowerPlay until the 46th over and could use only three overs in which they scored 24 runs, including 14 off the 48th over bowled by Ellyse Perry for the loss of both the remaining wickets.
Tiffen finished as the leading scorer with a well played 57 off 113 balls with six fours. She received good support from Suzie Bates (29), Amy Satterthwaite (38) with whom she added 67 runs for the third wicket, and Sara McGlashan (29), with whom she put on 62 runs for the fourth wicket. McGlashan's brother Peter was making his New Zealand debut the same day against India in Christchurch.
Perry was the pick of Australia's bowlers with 3-40 despite dislocating the little finger of her right hand. Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals in reply before rain and bad light stopped play with the home team requiring 74 runs off 112 balls with four wickets remaining. Kate Pulford caused maximum damage when she claimed 3-32 while new-ball opener Sophie Devine picked up 2-19.
At North Sydney Oval, Sydney
New Zealand 205 all out, 48 overs (Haidee Tiffen 57, Amy Satterthwaite 38, Sara McGlashan 29, Suzie Bates 29; Ellyse Perry 3-40, Lisa Sthalekar 2-35, Erin Osborne 2-37)
Australia 132-6, 33 overs (Shelley Nitschke 27, Jodie Fields 26 not out, Karen Rolton 21; Kate Pulford 3-32, Sophie Devine 2-19)
New Zealand won by 13 runs (D/L method)
At No 1 Sports Ground, Newcastle,
South Africa 116 all out, 45.2 overs (Alicia Smith 46; Stafanie Taylor 4-17)
West Indies 117-8, 48.4 overs (Shanel Daley 26)
West Indies won by two wickets