Cricket

Australia kick off Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign with 12 run win over England

Rachael Haynes celebrates her century in World Cup

A towering century of Rachael Haynes helped Australia secure a tense 12-point win over defending champions England in their World Cup opener in Hamilton, New Zealand.

On an emotional day for Australian cricket following the death of Shane Warne, Haynes’ 130 and captain Meg Lanning’s 86 took Australia to a 3-310 aggregate, leaving rivals Ashes with the daunting prospect of a an ODI world record pursuit to win.

Nat Sciver had an unbeaten 109, before England fell to 8-298 from their 50 overs.

Australian player Alana King took it 2-10 in her opening three overs to tip the game in Australia’s favour.

Jess Jonassen then produced the magic in the final, taking a one-handed catch to pull Katherine Brunt (25) out of her own bowling alley to drive Australia home.

Speaking at the draw, Lanning said Warne’s overnight death a day after Rod Marsh’s death was deeply felt by the Australian squad.

“Losing Rod (Marsh) and Shane over the past two days has been very sad…they’re two game icons that have had a huge impact,” Lanning said.

Australian players observe a minute’s silence in memory of Shane Warne.(PA: Jeremy Ward)

Australia and England shared a somber moment before playing at Seddon Park, with both teams observing a minute’s silence.