ICC Women's World Cup
New Zealand 147-2 beat Pakistan 144 all out by eight wickets

SOPHIE Devine's record-breaking knock led New Zealand to a thumping Women's World Cup win over Pakistan in Taunton, closing in on a semi-final place while knocking their opponents out of the tournament.

This was the White Ferns' second match in three days in Taunton, and Devine's 93 helped them coast home with 35 overs to spare after Hannah Rowe had taken 3-22 to limit their opponents' score.

Pakistan, still looking for their first win of the tournament, won the toss and elected to bat first at the County Ground.

Openers Ayesha Zafar and Nahida Khan made a steady start, but Zafar fell for 17 (caught by Hannah Rowe off the bowling of Leigh Kasperek) in the eighth over to leave her side 35-1.

Kasperek then claimed another victim, Marina Iqbal for a duck, before Rowe took two wickets in two balls in the 13th over - Javeria Khan (11, lbw) and Nain Abidi (0, lbw) - and Pakistan were 50-4.

Nahida Khan departed for 18 (bowled by Amelia Kerr), and it took captain Sana Mir and Iram Javed to steady things.

Javed went for 14 (bowled by Lea Tahuhu), though, and Kainat Imtiaz (7) became Rowe's third victim at 94-6, placing the responsibility on Mir to spare her side's blushes and steer them past 100.

She reached 50 (off 83 balls) in the 42nd over, celebrating her 100th one-day international in style, but was then caught and bowled by Tahuhu in the next over at 139-9.

Devine finished it off in the 47th over, having Diana Baig caught behind, and New Zealand needed 145 to win.

Rachel Priest - who hit a 55-ball 90 in the White Ferns' win over the West Indies - started with a couple of 4s, but then fell to Baig (caught by Mir) in the third over.

That brought Devine to the crease, and it did not take her long to settle in - smashing a 6, 4 and 6 off successive balls from Kainat Imtiaz in the fourth over.

Three successive 4s followed in the next over, as she and Amy Satterthwaite tore great chunks out of the Pakistan lead with regular boundaries.

Devine sprinted to her 50 off just 27 balls, the fastest half-century by a New Zealand batsman, and she then claimed her ninth maximum score, to take the record for most 6s in a Women's ODI.

She didn't quite make it to the end, however, caught and bowled by Nashra Sandhu after scooping one into the air - to finish on 93 off 41 balls.

Not that it made much difference, as Satterthwaite (38no off 42 balls) hit a 4 off the very next ball to win the match with eight wickets and a massive 35 overs to spare.

New Zealand sit third in the standings after five matches, one point behind Australia and India, with Pakistan second from bottom and yet to pick up a point.

Pakistan's next match is against bottom side West Indies (on Tuesday, July 11), with New Zealand taking on hosts England on Wednesday, July 12.