VIDEO: Aussies cruise to victory over India at World Cup
AUSTRALIA has returned to its winning ways on the back of yet another 100-plus partnership from Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.
After winning the toss and sending India into bat, the Aussies were chasing a modest - for them - 227 and they never looked challenged at the crease as they cruised to the total with five overs to spare and the eight-wicket win.
Lanning and Perry went to work when they paired up midway through the 22nd over, posting 124 runs together, which ensures their average partnership stays above the 100 mark.
The two found the boundary in 13 of the last 19 overs and kept the run rate well above what was required, not willing to let it get the better of them as it did in their loss to England. Both posted half-centuries, Perry's 22nd in ODIs and Lanning's 11th.
The Australia captain showed little restriction from her persistent shoulder injury as she found gaps with ease to set a good pace for the Aussie chase. Her unbeaten 76 saw her pass 5000 career runs but she fell just one run short of 3000 ODI runs.
It was Perry's fourth consecutive 50, her 60 not out continuing her devastating form with the bat.
Lanning said their formidable partnership came down to being relaxed and knowing each other's game.
"We enjoy ourselves, when out there. We know if you put pressure on the bowlers it will become a bit easier and the longer you bat the easier it gets and I think we understand each other's game well and our communication is good as well," Lanning said.
"Batting at three and four is a key position in the line-up and important once we are out there we put a big partnership together. Nice to do that today."
India didn't help itself, with a number of misfields costing them more than 20 runs, too many against a side with the batting potency of Australia.
India now faces New Zealand in a playoff for the final semi spot and captain Mithali Raj said all-round improvement was needed to secure it.
"The team needs to step up. If we're going to perform the way that we did today, personally I would say that it's not enough against the New Zealand side," Raj said.
"Somewhere we really have to upgrade the way we batted, especially the bowling unit and fielding department obviously because today the bowling unit didn't seem like they were effective or they were creating some opportunity.
"They just got their shots going. They need to be a little more consistent in the areas they plan to bowl."
Australia's bowlers had some trouble removing India's batters but they restricted their scoring to keep the game within easy reach.
It took until the final few overs before the Aussies really tore through, a 157-run second-wicket stand between Punam Raut (106) and Mithali Raj (69) lasting from the third over until the 40th. Kristen Beams made the breakthrough when she caught and bowled India captain Raj with her third ball of the over.
Ellyse Perry returned to form with the ball and took wickets for the first time since Australia played Sri Lanka in its second match. She had an economical 2-37 from her 10 overs, just the second time she's bowled her full complement this tournament.
Medium-pacer Megan Schutt also took two wickets, finishing with 2-52 from 10 overs.