After making 28 in the thrilling 12-run win over reigning champions England first up at the World Cup, Alyssa Healy broke the back of the chase with 72 to set Australia well on their way to victory against Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Tuesday.

Pakistan had set the 2013 winners just 191 to win as despite 78 not out from captain Bismah Maroof, a slow scoring rate and early wickets hampered their progress.

World Cup: Alyssa Healy stars as Australia defeat Pakistan, Bismah Maroof scores half century too

Healy spent over 100 minutes at the crease in her 79-ball knock and was relieved to grind out some runs after a gruelling double net session in preparation on Monday, as well as not feeling at her fluent best out in the middle.

She said: “I was exhausted doing a double rotation in the nets, I was absolutely. The wickets were actually pretty similar. They ragged a little bit yesterday, so that was good and it didn’t feel comfortable at any point today.”

She added, “So I guess that’s a positive for me leading into the rest of the tournament - to back myself to make those scratchy runs and hopefully when things get going I can get some more flow about my batting and bat like I know I can.”

After crossing the 300-run barrier against England and winning with 15.2 overs to spare on Tuesday, Australia’s batting line-up has shown plenty of form in the early stages of the World Cup in neighbouring New Zealand.

And wicket-keeper Healy insisted the side back their star-studded top six to get plenty of runs on the board to help them maintain their winning start to the competition.

She said: “We can’t all be firing at one point in time, but we back ourselves to pick up where someone else left off. That’s just the beauty of our line-up that we take the pressure off one another and it’s a really, really strong top six, and then you throw in what we’ve got after that, and it’s a really explosive, middle and low order.

“So it is our strength and we back our bowling attack to be able to defend whatever our batting group can get. We’re playing some really good cricket and hopefully we can continue doing that right through the tournament,” she added.

“It was almost a challenge that (coach) Matthew Mark gave me and obviously our top order to see how we could revamp the way we wanted to play one day cricket and sort of thrust upon me to say we’re going to put you at the top of the order. ‘Let’s see what you can do’. And it was just a great opportunity for me to take that on and grab that opportunity and know that I was backed – and Yeah, it’s been an enjoyable last five years and like I said, I really wanted to come into this World Cup and make an impact and show people that I could still do that job I suppose.

“So yeah. But like I said, it’s such an amazing batting lineup to be a part of that doesn’t come off on any given day. I know that - you know, Rachel Haynes at the other end and Meg Lanning can come in and Pez and Moon, I mean, it’s a pretty formidable batting lineup. So we’re pretty blessed and it can I guess, give us the freedom to go out there play our shots and put our side into good positions to win any game.”

— Healy on her journey as an opener post the 2017 World Cup where she batted lower down the order

Pakistan skipper Bismah shared a 99-run stand with Aliya Riaz, who made 53 off 109 balls, for the fifth wicket after her side were reeling at 44 for four inside 13 overs.

But the pair steadied the ship and although they were unable to reach a high enough total to truly trouble in-form Australia, Bismah was pleased she was able to bat through the overs.

She made her country’s second highest ever score at the World Cup and celebrated her first half century since returning from maternity leave in front of her six-month-old baby Fatima on International Women’s Day.

Bismah said: “I think when batting we gave away too many wickets early on. But the partnership with Aliya, we wanted to take it deep and I think we got a decent total after the start we had.

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“I think the way myself and Aliya batted that was positive. We talked in the meeting about someone in the top order needs to go and bat deep and that was a positive sign from us today.

“After the comeback, it was very important for me to perform and it was very special for me as my mother and daughter were here, so I wanted to make it count.”

“We lost early wickets so it was need of the hour to take time on wicket and build a partnership. When we tried to accelerate, I lost my wicket. However, Bismah carried it well and took it to end. David Hemp is working individually with each player according to individual role of each player. Regarding power hitting, every player has different power hitting session in nets. We are working on it and in next matches, hopefully you will see better results.”

— Pakistan batter Aliya Riaz

With inputs from ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020