In her first World Cup, Australia bowler Alana King has delivered a perfect tribute to spin king Shane Warne against England amid the Aussies’ 12-run win.
In the 27th over, King took the crucial wicket of Tammy Beaumont with a great bit of spin bowling.
As Beaumont was lured out of her crease, Healy pounced to take the stumps, which was followed by King patting her black armband, which the side was wearing in honour of Warne after his shock passing at the age of 52.
“She’s been inspired today … because in her thoughts is Shane Warne,” Kerry O’Keefe said on Fox Cricket.
“It’s a beautiful rotation of the ball. Warnie loved bowling right-handers around their legs. He’d be proud.
“He’d be looking down on the wicket and saying, ‘well done, girl.’”
Just weeks after defeating England in the Ashes, the Aussies are out to continue their winning ways when they clash in their opening World Cup match.
England captain Heather Knight won the toss and sent Australia in to bat on a tricky pitch, and the northern hemisphere nation immediately set about piling on the pressure.
It was rewarded when Alyssa Healy – who had been averaging 51 since moving to opener – became the first to fall for 28 off 35 runs.
Healy successfully used a DRS review to overturn an lbw dismissal, only to fall two balls later when she mistimed a shot from Nat Sciver’s bowling straight to Catherine Brunt at short mid-wicket.
But Captain Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes both garnered half centuries – their 18th and 17th in ODIs respectively, to take Australia to 1/143 after 30 overs, having been 1/58 after 15 overs.
For Haynes, it would only be the start of a brilliant innings, which ended with her dismissal for 130 runs.
Haynes’ stunning stint propelled the Aussies to a total of 310-3 at the close of the 50th over.
With England set a target of 311 runs, Australia struck quickly via Megan Schutt, who in the first over got Winfield-Hill to knock a ball in the air, which Annabel Sutherland took with a diving catch that was reviewed before eventually being paid.
As she has done often, Knight offered fierce resistance, building up a solid partnership with Tammy Beaumont that went past the 50-run mark relatively quickly.
Beaumont brought up her half-century off her 54th ball, with Knight sitting on 36 from 42 balls.
At the end of that over, the 17th, England was sitting on 87-1.
Australia’s breakthrough came as Tahlia McGrath dismissed Knight for 40 off 51, bringing an end to an impressive partnership and bringing Nat Sciver to the crease.
While Sciver would begin to build, Beaumont was dismissed for 74 after Alana King took out the stumps.
Sciver brought up her 50 off 43 balls as England finished the 35th over at 187-5, needing 124 from 90 balls.
She continued to prove the biggest threat to Australia’s hopes of victory, reaching triple digits off her 79th delivery, giving England a genuine chance at victory.
It wouldn’t prove enough, however, with England running out of time as the innings came to an end 12 runs short of the Aussies despite a knock of 106 not out from Sciver.
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes (vc), Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
England XI: Lauren Winfield-Hill, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver, Amy Jones, Danni Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Anya Shrubsole
Mar 5: v England, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 12pm AEDT
Mar 8: v Pakistan, Bay Oval, Tauranga, 12pm AEDT
Mar 13: v New Zealand, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT
Mar 15: v West Indies, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT
Mar 19: v India, Eden Park, Auckland, 12pm AEDT
Mar 22: v South Africa, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT
Mar 25: v Bangladesh, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT
Recap all the coverage in our blog below!