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Blackwell Guides Australia Into The Final

Blackwell Guides Australia Into The Final
Blackwell Guides Australia Into The Final
©Action Images / Paul Harding Livepic

Australia 123-3 (Blackwell 61, Roy 2-27) beat
India 119-5 (Raut 44, Perry 1-19) by seven wickets
ICC Women's World Twenty20 semi-final, Saint Lucia

Captain Alex Blackwell led Australia Women into the final of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 with an innings of 61 in 49 balls that extinguished India's challenge in the first semi-final in Saint Lucia.

Batting first, India struggled to build partnerships as they were restricted to 119 for five and in reply, Blackwell scored the first half-century by an Australian in the tournament to lead her side to a dominant win with seven balls to spare.

Australia's seven-wicket win sealed their place in the World Twenty20 final for the first time, having been beaten in the semi-final in 2009 by reigning champions England.

Opener Punam Raut top scored for India with 44, and Harmanpreet Kaur made 27 but their innings unravelled towards the end when they lost Kaur, Jhulan Goswami (0) and Raut in the 17th over, Kaur and Goswami run out.

Ellyse Perry, Rene Farrell and Lisa Sthalekar all picked up a wicket apiece.

India hit back to dismiss Elyse Villani without scoring, bowled by Goswami, but a 74-run partnership between the aggressive Blackwell and Shelley Nitschke (22) put Australia on the brink of victory.

Blackwell hit eight fours and despite both players falling to Priyanka Roy (2-27), Australia were always in control and an unbeaten 30 in 26 balls from Leah Poulton helped them finish off the match.

They will play New Zealand or the West Indies, who meet in the second semi-final tomorrow (14th May).

© Cricket World 2010