|Australia 269-8 (50 overs): Perry 68 (86), McGrath 57 (56), Tahuhu 3-53|
|New Zealand 128 (30.2 overs): Brown 3-22, Gardner 2-15|
|Australia won by 141 runs|
Australia tore through New Zealand in Wellington to maintain their winning start at the Women’s World Cup.
The tournament favourites posted 269-8, Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath both making half-centuries, while Ash Gardner crashed an astonishing 48 not out from only 18 balls.
With some devastating pace bowling, Perry, McGrath and Darcie Brown reduced the hosts to 35-5.
New Zealand limped to 128 all out, Australia taking victory by 141 runs.
It leaves Australia top of the eight-team table with six points from three games and already on the verge of a place in the semi-finals.
South Africa, who have played a game fewer, are the only other unbeaten side in the competition.
New Zealand have won two and lost two and now go on to meet South Africa and England, crucial games in their bid to secure a last-four spot.
In the tournament’s first game at the historic Basin Reserve, the White Ferns had reduced Australia to 56-3 before Perry, who made 68, added 57 with Beth Mooney.
Even at 113-4, the game was in the balance, only for McGrath’s 57 to come in a stand of 101 with Perry, the latter dismissed by a magnificent running, diving catch at long-on by Maddy Green.
Gardner, who missed the first two games after contracting Covid-19, arrived at the end of the 45th over and plundered four sixes and four fours.
No player has scored more runs at a strike-rate better than Gardner’s 266.66 in a women’s one-day international.
Faced with what would have been the highest successful run-chase in a Women’s World Cup game, New Zealand’s top order was blown away, primarily by the pacey 19-year-old Brown, who claimed 3-22.
Bowling with hostility and control, Brown had Amelia Kerr caught at second slip, induced a miscue from Suzie Bates, then trapped Frankie MacKay leg before.
New Zealand lost their first five wickets in 11.1 overs, and the result was a formality. Australia’s margin of victory was their second-largest in terms of runs against New Zealand in an ODI.