Australia women tighten grip on World Cup prospects

Alyssa Healy breaks the stumps as Shamilia Connell falls short of the crease Getty Images

Australia, the six-times Women's World Cup winners, are the runaway favourites to retain the trophy they last won in 2013, after laying down an impressive marker in their opening-round victory over West Indies. At 10/11, they are currently streets ahead of their rivals, according to Bet365, although there's a long way yet to go until the final at Lord's on July 23.

Despite their opening-night loss to India at Derby, England remain second-favourites at 3/1, largely on the strength of their home advantage (they won the tournament on the last occasion it was played in England, in 1993, as well as the World T20 in 2009), although Tuesday's crushing victory over Pakistan will have gone a long way to reassuring punters that they are worth a flutter.

It is perhaps India who represent the best value for money at present, however. Their defeat of England was a thrillingly complete performance, set up by a trio of brilliantly paced and contrasting half-centuries from Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Punam Raut, then sealed by a probing combination of pace and spin bowling. They've never yet won the World Cup, but at 5/1, they've rarely looked better placed to do so.

Two of the eight teams have, unsurprisingly, been written off by the bookies after the opening round. Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the two weakest teams going into the tournament, have drifted out to 150/1 after their defeats to England and New Zealand.

The Kiwis, World Cup winners in 2000 and three-times beaten finalists, are 6/1 to lift the trophy this time. But, perhaps the more interesting flutters would be the mid-pricing pairing of South Africa (16/1) and West Indies (22/1). Both have got the talent to do enough to get out of their groups, and thereafter it will come down to back-to-back wins in the knockout stages. And, as West Indies proved with their World T20 win last year, nothing can be discounted when this competition reaches the crunch.