England and Australia will meet in the final of 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, as they beat West Indies and India in their respective semis, reports the Guardian.
England had initially experienced some nerves in their chase, both openers holing out in the powerplay to leave England 24-2. But Jones and Sciver’s 92-run partnership put them in firm control of the situation. This was keeper Jones’ coming-of-age moment: her 45-ball fifty was her first in T20 internationals, and it was she – fittingly – who stroked the winning runs through midwicket. Along the way she hit her first six in the format, as England showed the aggressive intent that India had so lacked.
Three overs later Knight removed Bhatia from contention, and the crowd awaited the Harmanpreet Kaur show. But there was an air of anti-climax, as the Indian captain struggled for several overs to get the ball off the square. She showed some semblance of her old self, taking on Kirstie Gordon with a huge six over long off, but could only muster up 16 off 20 balls, eventually top-edging Gordon to Sciver at cover in a slog-gone-wrong.
By that time India were 94-5, with Jemimah Rodrigues – who shared a 36-run partnership with Harmanpreet – also back in the hutch thanks to a brilliant run out from Tammy Beaumont at backward point, one of three such dismissals across the India innings. From there it was easy pickings for Knight, who – having not bowled a single over in England’s previous two matches – finished with figures of 3-9, ripping through the late middle order. Should she bowl herself in the final against Australia, she will start on a hat-trick.
Score: India 112 (Mandhana 34, Knight 3/90); England 116/2 (Jones 53*, Yadav 1/20); England win by 8 wickets.
West Indies have beaten Australia once in Twenty20 cricket: the final of the last edition of the World Twenty20 in 2016. On that occasion they successfully chased down 149, against all expectations. On Thursday, they looked a shadow of that side, collapsing to 71 all out as Australia won by a mammoth 71 runs.
Ellyse Perry tore the heart out of the West Indies chase before it really got going, removing big gun Deandra Dottin and the No 4, Shemaine Campbelle, in successive overs as the defending champions finished the powerplay with three wickets down and 26 runs on the board, having played out two maidens. The ball to Dottin was a beauty, nipping back in to take out her leg stump.
The Australian captain, who scored a 39-ball 31, never looked quite secure at the crease.
She survived two chances from successive deliveries in the ninth over when she was on 11. First she danced down the pitch to Hayley Matthews and ended up a gnat’s whisker away from being stumped, then was almost at the sharp end of a diving stop-and-throw from Dottin at point, just making her ground on both occasions.
Australia, then, surge on to the final, where they will face England, who accounted for India in the following match. But for West Indies, their long-cherished dream of a second successive T20 title – this time in front of a home crowd – is over.
Score: Australia – 142/5 (Healy 46, Taylor1/20); West Indies – 71 (Taylor 16, Perry 2/2,); Australia wins by 71 runs.