Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Skipper Meg Lanning helps Australia set up finale clash with India
- Australia managed to reach yet another World T20 Final as they managed to beat South Africa by 5 runs.
Australia: 134-5 (20 overs)
South Africa: 92-5 (13 overs)
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Australia have made it to yet another Women's T20 World Cup final as they managed to beat South Africa by 5 runs in a rain-reduced game. With this, they will be taking on India in the final at the MCG on Sunday March 8.
Due to incessant rain, the match was reduced to 13 overs and the revised target for South Africa was 98 runs. South Africa suffered a mini collapse as they went from being 20-0 to 24-3 in quick time.
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Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt added crucial 47 runs for the 4th wicket and kept South Africa in the game. However the untimely dismissal of Luus put the game again in the favour of the hosts.
Wolvaardt tried her best with an unbeaten 41 that included 3 fours and 2 sixes to take the Proteas over the line. But the Australian bowlers, especially Megan Schutt, kept things tight and in the end won the game by 5 runs according to DLS Method.
Earlier, South Africa won the toss and put Australia in to bat looking at the rain as a huge factor. Allysa Healy and Beth Mooney provided Australia with a steady start before Healy was dismissed by Ayabonga Khaka.
Mooney was then joined by skipper Lanning and the duo began to consolidate Australia's position. Suddenly things changed as Nadine de Klerk was introduced in the attack. Australia slipped from 68-1 to 71-4 and it was all down to the skipper to help Australia reach a competitive score.
With some help from Rachael Haynes down the order, Lanning was able to score a run-a-ball 49* that helped Australia post a fighting total of 134-5 in their 20 overs.
Meg Lanning's patient 49*
Knockout games have a pressure of its own and big players step up on big occasions. It was one such occasion where Australian skipper Meg Lanning was expected to step up.
She came to the crease ion the fifth over after Australia had lost the wicket of Alyssa Healy. Lanning first built a platform with Beth Mooney where the latter played the role of the agressor.
After Mooney's wicket , Australia also lost Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner in quick succession. The pressure was high but Lanning managed to absorb all of it and kept the scoreboard ticking at one end.
She took some chances in the latter half of her innings and finished with a run-a-ball 49* which included 4 fours and a six. Her contribution helped Australia set a target of 135 which gave the bowlers something to bowl at.
Wolvaardt's 41* goes in vain
Laura Wolvaardt came to bat at a very critical stage for South Africa as they were 24-3 and Australia were all over them. However, she played positively and did not let the Australian bowlers settle. She strung a crucial 47-run stand alongside Sune Luus and after Luus' dismissal South Africa's hopes lied on her shoulders.
She kept finding the odd boundary and kept the required run rate in check. Hitting the last ball of the penultimate over for a six, Wolvaardt brought the equation down to 19 off the last 6 balls. However, it proved too much for her in the end as she remained unbeaten on 41 off 27 balls which included 3 fours and 2 sixes.
In a close game that was decided by DLS method, it was Meg Lanning's innings of 49* which proved to be the difference between the two sides. Thus, she was adjudged as the player of the match. These were her thoughts after the game,
"That was very stressful, the way it rained during the day. The groundstaff here did an amazing job to get us on the field and we were lucky enough to get better weather. It was hard work as they bowled well and made it difficult on this skiddy wicket."
"It was difficult for us to get away as we lost a few wickets in the middle. It was nice to be able to contribute. It's been raining a lot in Sydney but the wicket was good as the groundstaff prepared it early. Very thankful that we got to play."Published 05 Mar 2020, 18:17 IST