Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Australia hold their nerve to seal semifinal spot
- Australia beat New Zealand by just 4 runs.
Australia 155-5 (20 overs)
New Zealand 151-7 (20 overs)
Australia beat New Zealand in a virtual quarterfinal by just 4 runs to book their berth in the semifinals of the Women's T20 World Cup alongside India, South Africa and England.
Chasing 156 runs to win, New Zealand got off to a steady start, with wicketkeeper Rachel Priest looking in good touch. However, her dismissal sent the New Zealand innings spiraling. Georgia Wareham then picked up the crucial wickets of Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Maddy Green to put New Zealand in a hole.
Katey Martin then scored an unbeaten 18-ball 37 to get New Zealand close to the target but in the end, Australia managed to hold their nerve and secure a four-run victory.
Earlier, Australia were put in to bat and lost wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy early. However, Beth Mooney held firm and formed important partnerships with skipper Meg Lanning and Ashleigh Gardner. Mooney scored 60 runs off 50 balls, a knock that included 6 fours and 2 sixes. Late cameos from Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes ensured Australia posted a competitive total of 155-5 in their 20 overs.
Beth Mooney's important 60
Australia had gotten off to a poor start as Healy was once again dismissed early. The stakes were as high as they could get as the loser of this game would be knocked out of the tournament.
However, Mooney stepped up when Australia needed her the most and formed a steady 32-run partnership with skipper Lanning. Although Lanning was dismissed at an inopportune moment in the game, Mooney ensured that Australia did not lose any momentum.
Mooney and Gardner added 52 runs for the third wicket, with the 26-year-old eventually finishing with 60 runs off 50 balls.
Wareham, Schutt lead Australia into the semis
Needing 156 runs to win, New Zealand needed a good start from their openers while Australia needed some quick wickets.
Just when it looked like the partnership between skipper Sophie Devine and the experienced Suzie Bates was beginning to flourish, the leg-spin of Georgia Wareham accounted for Bates. Wareham then got the wickets of Devine and Maddy Green, eventually ending with figures of 3/17.
Megan Schutt also ended up with three wickets as Australia won the game by four runs.
Wareham was adjudged the Player of the Match for her stellar bowling display and opened up about her performance after the game:
I had a bit of confidence and thankfully everything went well. They are dangerous batters and I'm happy that things went according to plan. (The plan) was to draw them forward and it came off well. This is a fast track compared to other grounds, but not too different. It's special to be playing at the SCG and looking forward to the semi-final.Published 02 Mar 2020, 15:26 IST