The defending champions Australia Women managed to evade the rain threat as they defeated South Africa in the second semi-finals of the T20 World Cup on Thursday in Sydney in a thrilling contest. They will now face India Women in the finals on Sunday.
Despite the first semis getting washed out, the ground staff at the SCG did a brilliant job to get the venue up and ready for the highly anticipated clash between the home team and South Africa, the toppers of Group B. The Aussies got their full quota of 20 overs to bat and make a mark and eventually managed 135 runs with Meg Lanning scoring an unbeaten 49. Beth Mooney, with a knock of 28, pitched in as well as the team set the South Africans a challenging total.
However, rain poured down just at the innings break and the total was revised to 98 off 13 overs for South Africa to set up a finals date with India. The Proteas got off to a splendid start but Megan Schutt and Co managed to bowl well and scalped three quick wickets to stall the brisk start that the rivals had managed.
South Africa lost three wickets in three overs but were brought back into the game with a partnership of 47 runs between Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt. The counter-attacking stand had plenty of big hits and would have given the team the hope of chasing the stiff total down. Schutt, however, put an end to the stand and Jess Jonassen defended 18 runs off the final over to guide the team to the finals.
The 20th over, though, was not short of action. The first ball saw Chloe Tryon out, while the second was sent for a four by Wolvaardt. The next two balls fetched three runs, but by then, the match was all but over.
South Africa have never managed to win a Women’s T20I game against Australia.
Brief scores: Australia 134/5 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 49*, Beth Mooney 28; Nadine de Klerk 3-19) beat South Africa 92/5 in 13 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 41*; Megan Schutt 2-17) by 5 runs. (Match reduced to 13 overs due to rain; revised target 98, DLS method)