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Lanning eyes bowling gains versus Pakistan

Captain Meg Lanning wants a better performance in the field when Australia continue their Women’s World Cup campaign against Pakistan on Tuesday.

Australia defeated England by 12 runs on Saturday in an incredible 608-run spectacle at Hamilton’s Seddon Park to start their tournament on a high.

There were plenty of positives: Rachel Haynes belted 130 and combined with Lanning, who scored 86, in a 196-run stand before Alana King (3-59) and Jess Jonassen (2-18) spun Australia to victory with crucial spells.

However, Australia also conceded the biggest ODI second innings score in history in an effort Lanning labelled inconsistent.

“Bowling-wise, we had some good patches,” she told AAP.

“In the field really we were a bit sloppy. Not as clinical as we’d like.”

The Australian skipper blames herself for a poor day in the field.

In the fourth over, she dropped opener Tammy Beaumont on four, denying Darcie Brown a first World Cup wicket, and her team the chance to turn the screw.

Beaumont went on to make 74, and England came within a whisker of a world record chase.

“It was like one of those ones I should have taken,” Lanning said.

“When Tammy Beaumont was churning out the rounds it was playing in my mind and unfortunately it probably set the tone for the fielding.

“There was some sloppiness and we weren’t quite on.”

Against Pakistan, Australia may elect to change their bowling mix.

Conditions were tough for the bowlers in Hamilton and Lanning confessed she would have liked to bat second.

“Their power play showed it was relatively easy to score and that’s what we thought would happen,” she said.

Still, Brown had a rough day with 0-40 off six overs — and her own dropped sitter — while Annabel Sutherland faded after a sharp start, finishing with 0-42 off seven.

Lanning wouldn’t be critical of Brown, however, and said: “There are going to be times when it doesn’t go her way.

“It wasn’t her best night. She still created an early chance which I wasn’t able to take and that’s what we want from her.

“We want Darce to run in, bowl fast and enjoy herself. We know sometimes she will go for runs.

“She’s an important part of our line-up. We think that when gets it right, she’s a real weapon for us.”

Another answer for Australia might be an increased load for veteran Ellyse Perry.

Incredibly, Perry has bowled 10 overs in an ODI just once in the past four years, and Lanning said she wouldn’t hesitate in going to her more often if she was on.

“The tricky thing with our bowling line-up is we’ve got seven bowlers every time. We have so many options,” she said.

“She bowls most of her overs up front or through the middle. That’s her role.

“She is capable of bowling 10. If conditions suit, there might be a time when that happens.”

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