Australia survive scare to beat India and reach T20 World Cup final


Australia battled back to beat India and reach the T20 World Cup final (Picture: Getty)

Australia showed the grit of champions to beat India in a thriller and reach the Women’s T20 World Cup final.

India looked on course to stun the defending champions as they reached 133-5 in pursuit of Australia’s 172-4.

But India captain Harmanpreet Kaur was run out for 52 after failing to ground her bat and the momentum soon swung back into Australia’s favour.

Finding the boundary became an increasingly difficult task for India, who finished five runs short as Australia booked their place in a seventh consecutive World Cup final.

Australia, who have won five Women’s T20 World Cups from seven attempts, will face England or hosts South Africa in Sunday’s final.

Meg Lanning’s side made a bright start after winning the toss and electing to bat first in Cape Town, with openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney putting on 52 for the opening partnership.

Healy fell for 25 but Mooney punished a costly drop to hit seven fours and one six in a fluent and crucial half-century as Australia began to accelerate.

Harmanpreet Kaur was furious after her unfortunate dismissal (Picture: Getty)

Shikha Pandey dismissed Mooney in the 12th over but Lanning – who also survived a drop catch – ensured Australia got up to 172-4, hitting six boundaries in a 34-ball 49.

India’s chase got off to a shocking start as openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma both departed inside three overs, but Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues steadied the ship with a rapid partnership worth 69.

India were favourites at the halfway point but Rodrigues – who had hit six boundaries for her 43 – gifted her wicket as she attempted to ramp a ball above her head and only managed to tickle it through to Australia wicketkeeper Healy.

It was just the boost Australia needed and the World Cup holders could barely believe their luck when Kaur was run out when her bat got caught in the ground a few overs later.

India needed 40 from 32 balls before Kaur’s dismissal but the run out sparked a steady flurry of wickets as Australia wrapped up a win that ensures their quest for a third successive world T20 trophy continues.

Australia skipper Lanning said: ‘It was one of the best wins I’ve been involved in. To fight back from the position we were in. We didn’t play our best cricket but I was so proud of the girls.

‘India were coming hard at us so we knew it was going to be hard to defend and it came down to the wire. There were a couple of times I got a bit nervous.

Meg Lanning's side have reached seven World Cup finals in a row

Meg Lanning’s side have reached seven World Cup finals in a row (Picture: Getty)

‘But we knew we had to hang in there. We got a little but of luck with the Kaur wicket but we just had to hang in there and we got over the line.

‘We stayed calm and composed. We didn’t panic out there and we love the big moments. We love playing the big teams and that will happen again in the final.’

Heather Knight’s England – who topped their group with four straight wins – face host nation South Africa in the second semi-final on Friday.

England ‘licking their lips’ as Ben Stokes names team for second New Zealand Test

MORE : Evergreen England legend James Anderson is on top of the world once again

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