As the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final day inches closer, India, England, and South Africa all have managed to qualify for the semi-finals. With one place left to fill, Australia and New Zealand were both just one win away.
The last match of the group stage between these two nations looked to provide a cut-throat competition. Australia with a higher Net Run Rate only needed to win the game to stand above New Zealand on the table and also secure a place in the semi-finals. While, New Zealand was already on top of Australia with 4 points, and only needed to restrict Australia from taking the game away.
With both the team having something to prove, New Zealand won the toss and opted to field first. Initially, New Zealand kept things under full control, as Australia lost its first wicket of opener Alyssa Healy (9; 9b; 1X4) at the end of 3rd over.
Beth Moony (60, 50b; 6X4, 2X6) with captain Meg Lanning (21; 17b; 4X4) took matters into their own hands, as Moony continued her rampage almost till the end of the innings adding 60 runs to her side. Lanning along with 3 other down the batting line-up performed a few cameos to boost the total score taking Australia’s total to 155 with the loss of 5 wickets.
New Zealand had quite a big target to work on, but their confidence made it look somewhat achievable. The Australian women kept the Kiwi’s in check, until in the 4th over Aussies finally managed to dismiss Rachel Priest (17; 15b; 3X4) who was just starting to look dangerous.
Captain Sophie Devine (36; 31b; 2X4, 1X6) took charge of the situation by leading New Zealand to 80 runs within 13 overs after which in 14th over she departed. However, Maddy Green (28; 23b; 2X4, 2X6) at first and Katey Martin (37*; 18b; 4X4, 1X6) later, with their individual blitzkrieg performance added quite a lump sum.
The rest of the team failed to provide the support and severely suffered from holding on to a partnership. Katie Martin as the lone wolf of the Kiwi batting line-up made impossible look possible, but fell short in the end, losing their only chance to the Aussies by just an unbelievable margin of 4 runs.
With this victory, Australia joined the other 3 nations, India, South Africa, and England in the semi-finals, and only time will reveal who gets to hold the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.