Australia, England Women Win Warm-Up Matches

Elyse Villani stars with a half-century for Australia, Anya Shrubsole picks up four wickets

· Skipper Lanning leads Australia’s 43-run rout of the West Indies

· England brushes aside South Africa by seven wickets

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Three-time defending champion Australia flexed its prowess ahead of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 starting in India on Tuesday with an emphatic 43-run win over the West Indies in a warm-up match in Chennai on Monday.

Elyse Villani hit 51 off 42 balls and skipper Meg Lanning lashed three sixes and two boundaries in a 39-ball 49 as the Southern Stars scored 139 for three after being sent in to bat by the West Indies.

The West Indies were shot out for 96 in reply with leg-spinner Kristen Beams taking three wickets for nine runs in three overs. Seamer Rene Farrell took three for 18.

The morale-boosting win ahead of Australia’s first match against South Africa in Nagpur on 18 March came after Lanning’s team had lost four of its last six Twenty20 internationals.

Australia, which had won the last three editions in 2010, 2012 and 2014, has been drawn alongside Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group A of the 10-nation event.

Group B comprises Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan and West Indies, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semi-finals.

In another practice game in Chennai, strong contender England trounced brittle South Africa by seven wickets to ensure it goes into the tournament on the back of two straight wins.

England, runners-up to Australia in the last two editions, restricted South Africa to 101 for seven and then surpassed the modest target with 21 deliveries to spare.

England’s star bowler Anya Shrubsole claimed four wickets for 11 runs in 3.3 overs and Heather Knight took two for 15. Trisha Chetty top-scored for South Africa with 31.

Star batter Sarah Taylor led England’s reply with 37 and Amy Jones made 28 after skipper Charlotte Edwards had been dismissed in the fifth over for 12.

England, which had beaten New Zealand in a last-ball thriller on Friday, opens its campaign against Bangladesh in Bengaluru on Thursday, 17 March.