Australia 119/2 (Perry 57*) beat Pakistan 118 (Shutt 5-15) by eight wickets
A target of 119 had always looked unlikely for Australia to challenge and they eased home with 38 balls to spare. Perry, who took 2 for 3 in the first two overs, was described as a “swallow”, opening with Beth Mooney as captain Meg Lanning, although she was able to keep her throughout Pakistan’s innings.
Lanning was beaten by an excellent arm ball from Sadia Iqbal, but Perry, dropped for 3 when Iqbal dropped a difficult return catch, followed her rapid scoring in India – and prolific WNCL form – with 57 off 40 balls. With confidence that included a six over wide mid-on against Fatima Sana’s free hit.
Schutt’s first wicket came courtesy of a superb catch on the leg side by Mooney to remove Bismah Maroof, although Australia needed DRS to confirm that he had touched the gloves. Three balls later, Sadaf Shamas chipped in towards mid-on as Pakistan lost their way after a good start.
Schutt completed her maiden five-wicket haul when she returned at the death, taking Sana to cover, then top-scorers Omima Sohail and Tuba Hasan with a slower delivery.
Naseem’s 20-ball inning was the highlight of Pakistan’s performance as he showed a courage that is not always displayed. She launched Tahlia McGrath over long-on at the fig tree and played a ferocious pull to Darcy Brown on the grass bank at midwicket.
Brown had an off day that included consecutive no-balls in his opening over and the 34 he scored was the highest of a T20I career in his opening day.
It was Perry, a player at the opposite end of the experience spectrum, who began the wicket-taking for Australia with a superb yorker to remove Muneeba Ali, who made an impressive opening haul of 27 runs in 4.2 overs.
In his next over, Perry connected Javeria Khan with the bottom edge as Pakistan lost 4 for 5, but he was not called on to bowl again by Lanning, who used up seven substitutes and still needed Annabel Sutherland. Did not remain