Washed-out semis sends India into final
SYDNEY, March 5: Australia stormed into the final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup for the sixth time in a row after clinching a narrow five-run win over South Africa via Duckworth Lewis Method in the semi-final clash of the showpiece event at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.
Asked to bat first, defending champion and four-time winner Australia posted a respectable total of 134 for five in their stipulated 20 overs, thanks to skipper Meg Lanning’s crucial knock of 49 runs off as many deliveries.
Besides Lanning, Beth Moony also contributed with significant 28 runs off 24 deliveries.
For South Africa, Nadine de Klerk was the pick of the bowlers as she bagged three wickets while conceding just 19 runs in her four overs. Meanwhile, Ayabonga Khaka and Nonkululeko Mlaba also chipped in with a wicket each.
Subsequently, rain once again played a spoilsport at the SCG and reduced South Africa’s target to 98 runs required from 13 overs.
In reply, Megan Schutt bagged two wickets while Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux and Delissa Kimmince all chipped in with a wicket each to help the hosts restrict South Africa to a score of 92 for five in their 20 overs.
Laura Wolvaardt was the top scorer for South Africa with 41 runs.
Australian skipper Lanning was declared ‘Player of the Match’ for her significant contribution with the bat.
The victory means Australia will now face India in the summit showdown of the tournament.
Earlier in the day, the Indian women’s cricket team qualified for the final of the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup after their semi-final clash against England was washed out due to rain at the same venue.
The Harmanpreet-led side has progressed further in the showpiece tournament as they ended the group stage unbeaten. Kaur’s side kicked off their campaign with a 17-run win over Australia before they clinched wins over Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. (Agencies)