ICC Women's World Cup 2017
WWC17 Today: Proteas prevail in thriller
Everything you need to know from the second day of the Women's World Cup in the UK
26 June 2017, 07:50 AM AEST
What you may have missed last night
South Africa claimed victory in their World Cup opener but not after a late scare nearly derailed their run-chase against Pakistan at Grace Road.
The Proteas reeled in Pakistan's 8-206 with six balls to spare, their highest-ever second-innings winning total at a World Cup.
Tipped by many of Australia team members to be the tournament dark horses, South Africa made difficult work of the pursuit, losing 7-64 – including four run-outs - after a 113-run opening stand between Laura Wolvaardt (52) and Lizelle Lee (60).
Sune Luus (15 not out) and Shabnim Ismail (22 not out) showed a steady hand as the lower-order pair got their side over the line by three wickets.
Put into bat, Pakistan made a sluggish start before opener Bibi Nahida (79) struck her country's highest individual score at a World Cup as Moseline Daniels (2-21) did best with the ball, sending down four maidens.
Despite the late panic however, the Proteas made a winning start with Ismail (who picked up 2-52) named player of the match for her match-winning stand with Luus.
Tweet of the day
Stat of the day
Before Sunday, South Africa had never chased down a total of more than 200 at a World Cup. In fact, the Proteas had previously chased 200+ scores on just four occasions in 50-over cricket, while they tied with Australia last summer in pursuit of the Southern Stars' 242 in Coffs Harbour.
Pic of the day
What they said
South Africa match-winner Shabnim Ismail:
"I looked calm but I was very nervous out there. I just wanted to get it over and done with.
"It is always nice to contribute with bat and ball, I haven't' really done that much in the last few games.
"I was watching the bowlers bowl their lines and just told myself that if anything was in my area I would just go for it and I did."
Pakistan captain Sana Mir:
"I think it was a great effort by the girls, the way they fought it out. We lacked in all three departments though.
"We were 20 runs short but the bowlers came chipping in with wonderful overs but there were a couple of missed catches.
"There are areas to improve on but I am happy with the way they fought."
Australia's XI for their opening World Cup match won't be known until the toss in Taunton on Monday as selectors mull their best combination to take on West Indies.
Meg Lanning's squad took their first look at the County Ground on Sunday, going through their paces one final time before their campaign for a seventh title at the 50-over tournament gets underway at 10.30am (7.30pm AEDT) on Monday.
The only hint Lanning gave about the make-up of Australia's XI was that selectors had "14 players fit and ready" – suggesting leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington – who missed both warm-up matches due to an injury to her right forefinger – will not be available for the match.
"Yes, there is," Lanning confirmed when asked if decisions were still to be made about the team she will lead out onto the field on Monday.
"Coming here today for first the time and looking at the conditions, we just wanted to get a feel for what it's like and this afternoon we'll have a think about the best XI for our team.
"It's going to be very a difficult decision to make, we're got 14 players fit and ready for this game and it's going to be difficult to leave them out."
Good form from the Australian batters since arriving in England means it is highly unlikely the top seven of Beth Mooney, Nicole Bolton, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Elyse Villani, Alex Blackwell and Alyssa Healy will change, leaving Rachael Haynes the likely unlucky batter to miss out in Taunton.
The make-up of the bowling attack is less clear, but with quicks Perry and Schutt and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen consistency playing crucial roles for Australia, two spots appear to be left open with four candidates to fill them: off-spinning allrounder Ashleigh Gardner, leg-spinner Kristen Beams and uncapped seamers Sarah Aley and Belinda Vakarewa.
Opening day results:
Women's World Cup 2017 Guide
Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Australia's World Cup schedule
June 20: Australia v South Africa, Oakham
June 22: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester
June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton
June 29: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol
July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol
July 5: Pakistan v Australia, Leicester
July 9: England vAustralia, Bristol
July 12: Australia v India, Bristol
July 15: South Africa v Australia, Taunton
July 18: First semi-final, Bristol
July 20: Second semi-final, Derby
July 23: Final, Lord's