Australian women beat New Zealand in thrilling encounter to qualify for semi-finals of World T20

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Picture Courtsey: First post

The defending Champions Australia register a close 4 run win against New Zealand in a virtual quarterfinal played at Junction Oval, Melbourne on Monday.

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine won the toss and decided to field first. Beth Mooney looked in fine touch playing with positive intent. Jensen got the breakthrough dismissing Healy for just 9. The pitch had good bounce and carry. At the end of six overs, Australia were 38 for 1.

After the power play overs, Australian captain Meg Lanning showed her class with positive strokes while Mooney played New Zealand spinners coming down the track. After hitting 2 successive boundaries, Peterson dismissed Meg Lanning for 21. Lanning and Mooney added 32 runs for the 2nd wicket. Mooney made the batting look easy taking singles and hitting boundaries at will. Ashleigh Gardner impressed with her stroke play to score run ball 20. Kasperek struck to get rid of dangerous Gardner for 20. Gardner and Mooney added 52 runs for the 3rd wicket. Mooney reached her fifty off 42 balls. Peterson dismissed Mooney for well made 60.

Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes provided the impetus in death overs adding 32 runs off 2.4 overs. Kerr dismissed Perry for a quickfire 21 off 15 balls. Haynes remained not out on 19 off 8 balls to help Australia post 155 for 5 in 20 overs.

Chasing stiff target of 156 runs to win, Rachael Priest showed her intent and created pressure on Australian bowlers. Jess Jonassen struck to get rid off Priest for 17. The experienced duo of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine never hit occasional boundaries. At the end of six overs, New Zealand were 39 for 1.

After the power play overs, Bates and Devine kept looking for runs. George Wareham struck to get rid of Suzie Bates with a review. The umpire gave it not out and on review the decision was overturned to out. Sophie Devine and Maddy Green hit some lusty blows which kept New Zealand hopes alive of winning the match. Wareham struck again to get rid of Sophie Devine to break 28 runs stand for 3rd wicket. Green and Martin scored 16 runs off Nicolas Carey in 15th over. Ellyse Perry had to hobble back as she felt the hamstring while throwing.

Wareham got her 3rd wicket of the match dismissing dangerous Maddy Green for 28. Megan Schutt got wickets of Amelia Kerr and Jensen in the same over to break the backbone of New Zealand innings. With 19 runs required off 1 over, Gardner held her nerves despite giving 10 runs from last 2 balls. Australian women won the match by 4 runs to qualify for the semi-finals.

For her brilliant 60 off 50 balls, Beth Mooney was awarded the player of match.

Australian women 155 for 5 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 60, Ellyse Perry 21, Haynes 19*, Peterson 2/31) beat New Zealand women 151 for 7 in 20 overs ( Katie Martin 37*, Sophie Devine 31, Wareham 3/17, Megan Schutt 3/28) by 4 runs.

Australia and India qualified from Group A. England and South Africa have qualified from Group B. If South Africa win against West Indies tomorrow then they will play Australia in the semi-finals and if they lose, they will take on India on 5th March.

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