Meg Lanning scored her 12th ODI century. ©Pakistan Cricket

Australia captain Meg Lanning struck her 12th ODI century and Sophie Molineux scalped 4 wickets to help Australia win their three-match ODI series, part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20), against Pakistan in Malaysia.

After winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first. But they didn’t get the start what they are accustomed to. Diana Baig picked up Alyssa Healy’s wicket in the seventh over and handed over the first breakthrough to her team. Soon Bolton joined her in the dugout, getting dismissed by Sana Mir after scoring 18. Ellyse Perry too couldn’t stay long at the crease as she was dismissed by giving a catch to Siddiqi at mid-off region from Sundhu’s delivery in the 18th over.

Economical spells from Pakistan bowlers didn’t allow batters to hit and they were reduced to 76/3 at the end of the 20 overs. Pressure fell upon Lanning and Haynes to resurrect the innings. Both did an impressive job and added 181 runs for the fourth wicket. Initially, Lanning took some time to hit the ball but when she got settled in, Pakistan bowlers couldn’t stop her as she started hitting all over the park. She took 50 balls to reach her half-century but took only another 39 balls to score the century. Her 124 off 106 included 19 fours.

Haynes gave good support to her captain, scoring a steady 79 off 82 before getting dismissed by Anam Amin. Lanning finally fell in the 46th over by giving an extra-cover catch to Mir from Sundhu’s delivery. After their dismissals, lower order couldn’t contribute much. A brace of 124 from Meg Lanning and 79 from Rachael Haynes were the reason behind a decent competitive total as Australia made 273 for 7. For Pakistan, Sundhu bagged 3 wickets; while Baig picked up 2. Amin and Mir claimed one wicket each.

Chasing the huge total, Pakistan lost their opener, Ayesha Zafar, very cheaply. Soon, Muneeba Ali got bowled by Perry’s delivery in the 7th over. Captain Javeria Khan was the next batter to follow them in the pavilion after getting dismissed by Schutt’s delivery. Pakistan soon were reduced to 42/3 after 10 overs.

Wickets started falling at a regular intervals from one end while opener Nahida Khan was there at the other end. Nahida and Mir tried to steady the ship and both added 44 runs for the sixth wicket. But before they could move further, Sophie Molineux picked up Mir and broke the partnership. Tailenders were not able to give proper support to Khan and they were bowled out for 123. Nahida Khan top-scored with 66 off 114 which included 10 fours.

Molineux scalped four wickets for Australia. Megan Schutt and Ashleigh Gardner claimed two each while Perry took one wicket and they won the match by a huge margin of 150 runs.

Both the teams will play their last ODI on October 22 at the same ground.