The Southern Stars kicked off their 2017 Women's World Cup qualification campaign with a four-wicket win over Pakistan at Redlands Cricket Club in Brisbane, in a match that marked the launch of the new ICC Women's Championship.
The Australian side chased down the total of 157 set by Pakistan within 37 over, finishing 6-163.
Pakistan vice-captain Bismah Maroof (53) anchored her side's innings, combining well with Nida Dar (40) to put on an 89-run partnership and push their side's total to 157 from their 50 overs. The wickets were shared evenly among the Australian side, with Julie Hunter (2-26), Sarah Coyte (2-27), Rene Farrell (2-28) and Jess Jonassen (2-29) picking up two apiece.
Opener Nicole Bolton (43) got the hosts off to a solid start in their run chase, with a knock of 43, which included four fours. She built a steady 35-run partnership with player-of-match Jess Cameron (58*) before she was caught and bowled by Sana Mir (3-27). Cameron closed out the match with a six to push the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' total to 6-163.
This series marks the first round of the inaugural ICC Women's Championship for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and Pakistan. The Championship has been developed to create a more extensive and meaningful bilateral playing program for cricket.
It will see the top eight ranked women's teams play each other in three ODIs between 2014 and 2016, with points being awarded for each game and the top four sides gaining automatic qualification to the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 in England. The bottom four sides will have a second chance to qualify for the event through the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2017, where they will compete with six regional qualifiers for the last four available places in the tournament.