© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Australia’s excellent bowling performance helped Australia to defend a paltry target of 133 and make it to the final of ICC Women’s World T20 2016 by beating England by five runs on Wednesday at Delhi. The wicket-takers for Australia were Megan Schutt, Elyse Perry, Rene Farrell, Kristen Beams and Erin Osborne, while the only English batters who were decent on the occasion of a crucial semi-final were English openers, Edwards and Tammy Beaumont with scores of 31 and 32 respectively. The second semi-final of Women’s World T20 2016 is set to be played between New Zealand and West Indies and the winner of that match will face Australia in the final on Aril 3 at iconic Eden Gardens. FULL  CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs England, 1st Semi-Final, ICC Women’s World T20 at Delhi

Australia’s Jess Jonassen and Elyse Perry opened the attack for their side with England’s Charlotte Edwards and Tammy Beaumont began England’s chase of 133 in 20 overs. Jonassen, who has picked only one wicket for far in this edition of Women’s World T20 began her spell well giving just seven runs off the first over. On the other end, the all-rounder Perry was hit for a boundary in the second over. However, the boundary was the only runs scored in that over by England. The Southern Stars continued to keep the opposition quiet with just two big shots in the next two overs. England’s fist six was hit in the last over of the powerplay.

Perry’s full toss was smashed over the square leg by Beaumont to spoil Perry’s economy which was decent since then. Kristen Beams drew first blood when he removed the England skipper in the 10th over. It was the last delivery of the 10th over that left England at 67 for 1 needing another 66 off 10 overs. While Edwards moved outside leg to drive it, she found an edge and Australian skipper jumped on her left to complete an excellent catch at extra-cover. Sarah Taylor was the new batter at crease after the first wicket. When she had scored only three off four balls, she was dropped in the 12th over. Elyse Villani failed to catch the ball when Sarah lifted it in air off Kristen’s bowling at long off. However, Sarah wasn’t proved very expensive despite lasting at the crease till the 18th over.

Tammy and Sarah took charge with the former scoring more freely. Tammy scored a 40-ball 32 before she was dismissed in the 14th over. Megan Schutt went outside off and in reply, Tammy tempted to target leg side was out, courtesy of another superb catch from Australian skipper at the covers. Megan eventually happened to be pick of Australia Women’s bowlers as she would make another breakthrough in the penultimate over.

Katherine Brunt had smashed a boundary and a six and before she could make an irreversible damage for Australia, Megan sent her back to the dugout. At one point, England needed 42 off 30 balls with seven wickets to spare and Australia was easily on the backfoot. Australia, who have won the last four titles brought in all their experience in crunch situations and England lost quick five wickets in the final four-five overs and that happened to be the turning point of the match.

Earlier, Australian skipper Meg Lanning’s half-century helped Australia post 133 for 7 in 20 overs. It was her eighth Twenty20 International (T20I) fifty as he scored 55 off 50 and that knock was inclusive of six boundaries. Meanwhile, the wicket-takers for England were Laura Marsh, Jenny Gunn and Natalie Sciver who shared three wickets between each other. The other two wickets were run outs. The winner of this match will play the final. England had won the toss and opted to field.

 Brief scores:

Australia Women 132 for 6 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 55; Natalie Sciver 2 for 22) beat England Women (Tammy  Beaumont 32;  Megan Schutt 2 for 15) by  5 runs.

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)