Group Stage - Round Four March 28, 2005

Australia and India set the pace

Cricinfo staff

Australia 256 for 5 (Keightley 103) beat South Africa 159 for 9 (Brits 49) by 97 runs

Lisa Keightley's century secured an easy win for Australia © Getty Images

Lisa Keightley kept Australia on course for the semi-finals with a brilliant 103 from 154 balls, as the hosts, South Africa, were swept aside by 97 runs at the de Villiers Oval in Pretoria. Australia, undefeated so far in the tournament, were asked to bat first but made solid progress throughout their innings, as Keightley added 61 for the first wicket with Belinda Clark, and 96 for the second with Karen Rolton. Johmari Logtenberg was the pick of South Africa's bowlers, with 2 for 38 from eight overs.

South Africa's reply never really got started. Cri-Zelda Brits made a battling 49 but received stant support, with South Africa's golden girl, Johmari Logtenberg, once again falling wastefully, run out for 3. South Africa had been fined one over for a slow over-rate, but translated that form into their batting as well, as they trickled along at barely three runs an over. At 118 for 7, the match was dead in the water, but South Africa's tail at least gained some useful batting practice.

India 141 for 3 (Chopra 64*) beat England 139 (Edwards 58, Brindle 51*, Goswami 4-27) by seven wickets

Arran Brindle's unbeaten 51 couldn't rescue England © Getty Images

Charlotte Edwards and Arran Brindle made a pair of vital half-centuries, but none of England's other batsmen could even reach double figures, as India took the honours in the vital top-of-the-table clash at the Laudium Oval, Tshwane. After winning the toss, England made heavy weather of the conditions, and slumped to 56 for 4 before Edwards was joined by Brindle in a 38-run stand for the fifth wicket. But, before they could forge a true recovery, Jhulan Goswami returned to the attack to scythe down the tail with figures of 4 for 27.

Needing just 140 for victory, India were made to work hard for their runs, as Lucy Pearson, Helen Brunt and Clare Connor maintained a tight line and length in the early part of the innings, and kept the run-rate to manageable proportions. At 35 for 3 in the 20th over, it was anyone's game, but India stretched their legs as the change bowlers entered the attack, and with Anjum Chopra and Rumeli Dhar adding 106 for the fourth wicket, England's resistance was finally broken.

West Indies 156 for 2 (Williams 70*) beat Sri Lanka 152 (Siriwardene 52) by eight wickets

West Indies boosted their prospects of a semi-final spot as Sri Lanka were overwhelmed by eight wickets in a one-sided encounter at Benoni. After winning the toss and batting first, Sri Lanka slumped to 152 all out, an effort that was marred by five suicidal run-outs. Dedunu Siriwardene stood out from the ruins with a classy 52, although she too ended up short of her crease with 11 balls of the innings remaining.

West Indies never looked like handing back such an advantage, as Nelly Williams anchored the reply with a resolute 70 not out from 124 balls. She added 68 for the first wicket with Nadine George, and a further 74 with Juliana Nero, as West Indies won with more than 10 overs to spare.

New Zealand 95 for 1 (Mason 49*) beat Ireland 91 (Watson 3-19) by nine wickets

New Zealand kept up the pressure on the group leaders, by easing to a nine-wicket win over the winless Irish at Harlequins Oval. Ireland batted first and were bowled out for a paltry 91, with Helen Watson taking 3 for 19 as the pick of New Zealand's attack, ahead of Louise Milliken and Natalee Scripps who both picked up two wickets.

Only Caitriona Beggs, with a defiant 30 from 102 balls, put up much resistance, but it was in vain once Aimee Mason and Maia Lewis were into their stride. They added 83 for the second wicket to wrap up victory with more than 31 overs to spare.