Australia thrashed the West Indies in their Women's World Cup opener ©Getty Images

Australia began the defence of their International Cricket Council (ICC) Women's World Cup title in ominous fashion as they thrashed the West Indies by eight wickets in Taunton.

Australia's bowlers were in fine form as they skittled their opponents out for 204 at the County Ground, before a brilliant century from Nicole Bolton helped them reach their target with 11.5 overs to spare.

Ellyse Perry was the star performer with the ball as she took 3-47, with Jess Jonassen and Kristen Beams chipping in with two apiece.

Both Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor missed out on half-centuries - falling for 46 and 45 respectively - as the West Indies reached 157-4.

A middle order collapse meant they never looked like setting their Australian opponents a difficult score to chase and so it proved as they knocked off the required runs with consummate ease.

Australia's reply began with a solid 171-run opening stand between Beth Mooney, who was out for 70, and Bolton.

The opener finished with an unbeaten 107 to lead her side to a comfortable victory.

Taylor capped a decent individual performance for the West Indies with two wickets as she bowled Mooney before she had Meg Lanning caught for 12.

The West Indies were bowled out for 204 before Australia comfortably chased down their target ©Getty Images
The West Indies were bowled out for 204 before Australia comfortably chased down their target ©Getty Images

Perry, who has also represented Australia's national football team, finished unbeaten on five.

"It was a very good performance overall," captain Lanning said.

"Our bowlers were great up front, restricting them to 204 on a good batting wicket. 

"It was a very clinical performance from Bolton and Mooney to take the sting out of the chase. 

"They took some time early and Mooney pushed the accelerator towards the end. 

"We don't think of ourselves as defending champions. 

"We are just here to win the World Cup like everyone else. 

"We are not thinking about the pressure; it can take care of itself."

The match did not start well for the West Indies as captain Taylor indicated that she wanted to bat when she instead wanted to field.

After consultation she was obliged to go with her original option.

The tournament in England is due to continue tomorrow as the hosts go up against Pakistan at Grace Road in Leicester.