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Women's Cricket World Cup: New Zealand chase down 322 to thrash favourites Australia in warm-up

Captain Sophie Devine struck an unbeaten 161 off just 117 deliveries, with big contributions from Amelia Kerr (92*) and Suzie Bates (63) seeing New Zealand chase down their victory target of 322; Women's World Cup begins on Friday, live on Sky Sports

Image: Sophie Devine scored an unbeaten 161 to guide New Zealand to an impressive victory

Hosts New Zealand stunned pre-tournament favourites Australia with an emphatic nine-victory victory in their warm-up match ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

New Zealand bowled out Australia for 321, with Hannah Rowe (4-49) the pick of the home attack, before captain Sophie Devine scored a remarkable unbeaten 161 to help reach their victory target with nearly seven overs to spare.

Devine's innings lasted 117 deliveries and included 23 fours and four sixes, with a 119-run opening stand with Suzie Bates (63) laying the foundations for the impressive win.

Alana King's dismissal of Bates was the only Australian breakthrough, with Amelia Kerr posting an unbeaten 92 from just 75 deliveries and putting on an unbeaten second-wicket partnership with Devine to see New Zealand reach 325 with 41 balls remaining.

Australia saw four of their top-six - Meg Lanning (87), Alyssa Healy (64), Ashleigh Gardner (60*) and Beth Mooney (55) all score half-centuries.

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Elsewhere, India will go into the tournament off the back of successive warm-up wins as they followed up Sunday's success against South Africa by beating the West Indies on Tuesday.

Half-centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma helped India post 258, before a solid all-round effort with the ball limited the West Indies to 177-9 in reply and secured an 81-run win.

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England 'can be match for anyone'

Anya Shrubsole says England are "really confident" they can challenge Australia as they prepare for the defence of their Women's World Cup title in New Zealand, which gets under way in Hamilton on Saturday.

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England struggled in the multi-format series as the hosts won all three one-day internationals and the tourists failed to win a match, although three of the contests were rain-affected and two completely washed out, with Shrubsole confident England can bounce back.

"With a World Cup they're one-off games and we're really confident that if we play our best cricket we can really challenge Australia," Shrubsole told the PA news agency. "You've just got to get it right on the day and I think long enough will have passed between the end of the Ashes and the start of the World Cup.

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"It's really important for us as a team to be able to park what happened over in Australia and almost feel like we're starting the tournament afresh. We know that if we play our best cricket we are a match for anyone on our

Shrubsole was the star of the 2017 World Cup final when she tore through India's lower order, finishing with six for 46, including five wickets in 19 balls, as England snatched victory from the jaws of what appeared an inevitable defeat at a sold-out Lord's.

But the 30-year-old does not believe going into the tournament as defending champions will bring added pressure.

"I don't think so to be honest, I think it's one of those things - there will always be a title holder going into it," she added. "A huge amount of time has passed since then. I think whatever happened in that tournament has absolutely no bearing on this, but it's obviously a title that we're keen to have a really good stab at defending."

Watch the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports from Friday. Coverage of the tournament opener - hosts New Zealand vs West Indies - gets underway at 12.30am on Sky Sports' dedicated channel. England vs Australia is live from 12.30am on Saturday.

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