Twitter Reactions: Defending champions Australia kick-off their T20 World Cup campaign in style with 97-run victory

Australia's Ashleigh Gardner was adjudged the Player of the Match for her five-wicket haul which helped seal the contest.

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Australian Women
Australian Women. (Photo Source: Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Courtesy of Ashleigh Gardner’s five-wicket haul, defending champions Australia dominated New Zealand to clinch a 97-run victory in their campaign opener at the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup 2023 when the two heavyweights clashed at the Boland Park in Paarl in the third match of the marquee event.

Sophie Devine, the skipper of New Zealand, won the toss and put the reigning champions to bat first. While the White Ferns got an early breakthrough when they managed to dismiss Australia's explosive hitter Beth Mooney, opener Alyssa Healy constructed a vital knock of 55 runs off 38 balls which included nine boundaries. Skipper Meg Lanning, who joined Healy, carved out 41 runs to get the side back on track after the early blow. 

Just when the Aussies began to dominate the innings, the White Ferns broke the opposition's momentum by dismissing the in-form skipper and the opener. Ellyse Perry, who came down the middle order, steered the side to attain a competitive total of 173 runs with her quick 40(22) which included two maximums and three boundaries. Meanwhile, Lea Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr returned with three-wicket hauls in the first innings for New Zealand. 

White Ferns bow down to defending champions in run chase  

In response to the total, the Sophie Devine-led side required a solid foundation to help them chase down the score. However, Megan Schutt seemed to have other ideas as she dented the rival's top-order by cleaning up the deadly duo of Suzie Bates and Devine as New Zealand were reduced to 7/2 in the very first over.  

What followed was a batting collapse despite Berdine Bezuidenhout and Amelia Kerr attempting to revive the innings. Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner single-handedly trapped the middle and lower-order batters to send them packing, claiming a magnificent five-wicket haul, thereby registering her career-best bowling figures of 5/12 in her three overs. 

With just 76 runs on the board, the White Ferns eventually bowed down to the defending champions as Australia claimed a 97-run win in their opening game. Courtesy of her impressive performance with the ball, Ashleigh Gardner was adjudged the Player of the Match.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Australia’s dominating victory over Zew Zealand:

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