ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020: Australia hold nerve against South Africa to reach another final

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ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020: Australia hold nerve against South Africa to reach another final
Australia Women's Team. (Image Source: Twitter)

Keeping their fingers crossed watching the English team getting knocked out due to rains, Australia took on group table-toppers South Africa for the all-important semi-finals clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), on Thursday.

South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl, keeping an eye on the DLS method taking charge later in the match.

Openers Beth Mooney and Allysa Healy started the Australian proceedings in their trademark aggressive fashion. With 34 on the board, the hosts lost their first wicket during fifth over in the form of Healy (18 off 13).

The plot changed once Nadine de Klerk was handed the ball as she first dislodged the solid-looking partnership between Mooney (28 off 24) and Lanning.

De Klerk then took the prized scalp of Ashleigh Gardner on the knot, and then removed Rachel Haynes out of the equation, before completing her spell (3/14).

From 68-1, the defending champions were left tottering at 71-4. Lanning’s unbeaten run-a-ball 49 then consolidated the Australian innings.

Her captain’s knock enabled the Australian team to post a tricky total of 134. Lanning’s inning comprised of four boundaries and a maximum. She was later adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’ for her hearty effort.

As expected, rains hit the SCG before play resumed in the second half. After an hour’s delay, South Africa had to chase down a revised total of 98 runs in 13 overs.

Coming out to bat, openers Lizelle Lee and captain Dane Van Niekerk started on a positive tone. The duo added 20 runs within the third over, before Sophie Molineux took the first South African wicket.

Captain Van Niekerk soon perished to an incoming delivery from Megan Schutt. Dilessa Kimmence at the other end, dismissed Mignon du Preez in the next over to reduce South Africa to 26-3, by the end of the fifth over.

The rear-guard action was taken by Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt who took the game deep with their pivotal partnership of 47.
It was Schutt yet again who provided the breakthrough for Australia, with the wicket of Luus. Decisive death bowling turned out to be the difference between the two sides as Schutt and Kimmence made South Africa bottle under pressure.

With 19 required off the final over, Laura Wolvaardt (47*off 27 balls) almost took her side to the finals. Spinner Jess Jonassen held her nerves, even after conceding 13 in the last over, to take Australia to yet another final in the competition.

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CATEGORY: Australia, Meg Lanning, Megan Schutt, News, South Africa, T20, Women Cricket, World Cup

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