Australia Keep Hopes Of Retaining T20 Title Alive

Australia Keep Hopes Of Retaining T20 Title Alive
Australia Keep Hopes Of Retaining T20 Title Alive
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia Women 115-7 (Sthalekar 23) beat
West Indies Women 87 (Hunter 5-22) by 28 runs
ICC Women's WT20 semi-final
Report by Chetan Narula in Colombo

Australia stormed into the finals of the 2012 ICC Women's World T20, after putting in a good bowling performance that saw them beat West Indies by 28 runs in the second semi-final at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

They now play England, who are already through after defeating New Zealand in the first semi-final.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first but they got off to a horrible start as Alyssa Healy was bowled for a two-ball duck. Jess Cameron (11) left 14 runs later and they were two down at the end of the third over. Opener Meg Lanning and Lisa Sthalekar then held the ground, involved in a third-wicket partnership of 22 runs.

Lanning was the next one to go, with the score reading 36 in the eighth over. She scored 19 runs off 21 balls with two fours. Lisa and new batter Alex Blackwell then put up a fifth wicket stand of 32 runs, spearheading the middle order. Their runs came at almost run-a-ball and propped Australia up for a 100-plus total.

Sthalekar was out on the last ball of the 13th over, for an innings top score of 23 runs. She faced 25 balls and hit one four. Blackwell was out in the sixteenth over, for 21 runs off 25 balls (one four), as the score read 81 for five.

The final push was provided by skipper Jodie Fields (19 not out off 22 balls) and Rachael Haynes (15) as they added 30 runs in 21 balls. Their partnership pushed the score past 100 and Australia eventually finished with 115 for seven in their allotted twenty overs. Shanel Daley (2-23) and Shaquana Quintyne (2-23) were the best bowlers for the Windies.

Chasing 116, West Indies were never in the hunt. Only two of their batters reached double figures. Opener Juliana Nero was the top scorer with 31 runs off 45 balls, and held the innings together. She hit four fours.

Giving her company later on was Daley, who completed her all-round act with 25 runs off 34 balls, inclusive of three fours. They added 48 runs for the fifth wicket, leading the recovery after slumping to 28 for four in the seventh over.

But after their partnership was broken in the 17th over, the other players just couldn’t handle Julie Hunter’s medium pace. She scalped five for 22 from 3.2 overs. Four of those came from the last five wickets to fall, Windies losing them for just 11 runs to crash out in dramatic style.

© Cricket World 2012

Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.