Women's T20 World Cup semifinal: Australia pips South Africa by five runs, to meet India in final

Follow the live score, updates and commentary from the second semifinal of the Women's T20 World Cup between South Africa and Australia in Sydney.

SCORES×
The toss has been delayed due to wet outfield at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The toss has been delayed due to wet outfield at the Sydney Cricket Ground.   -  Twitter

Welcome to the highlights of the Women's T20 World Cup semifinal match between Australia and South Africa.

This was Santadeep Dey taking you through all the action as it unfurled at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • AND THAT IS IT! AUSTRALIA WINS THE CONTEST BY FIVE RUNS (DLS). IT WILL MEET INDIA AT THE MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND ON SUNDAY, MARCH 8!
     
  • 13 RUNS. 3 BALLS. The boundary riders are doing the job. At one moment, it seemed like Wolvaardt will clear the ropes. Nope!
     
  • WICKET - Tryon, gone for one! Lanning is ecstatic... Is this the turning point? It is almost pelting down now. SA 79/4 in 12.1 overs.
     
  • 19 RUNS. SIX BALLS. THIS MATCH IS HEADED TOWARDS A THRILLING FINISH. A SLIGHT DRIZZLE HAS SET IN TOO, ADDING TO THE DRAMA.
     
  • WICKET - Wonderful start to the over by Schutt! Alters the pace and the bowler has Luus deceived by the delivery. She looks to go over the long-off fielder but Mooney won't let these opportunities go. SA 71/4 in 11.2 overs.
     
  • And another... DROPPED! Kimmince could not manage to let the ball stick in her outstretched hand, but she has certainly saved a boundary here. SA 69/3 in 10.2 overs.
     
  • Oh! So very close... Luus heaves a sigh of relief as the ball just slips away from Jonassen's outstretched arm. SA 55/3 in 9 overs.
     
  • SIX - Wolvaardt has dispatched this one for a straight maximum over the bowler's head. SA 46/3 in 7.4 overs.
     
  • Medium pacer Nicola Carey has been brought into the attack and she has delivered. Just four runs off the last over. SA 35/3 in seven overs.
     
  • WICKET - No, no, no! South Africa losing the plot here... A full flourish of the bat by du Preez sees the ball carry straight to Lanning at extra cover. SA 24/3 in 4.5 overs.
     
  • WICKET - Schutt strikes! The ball moves a little off the seam and cramps SA skipper van Niekerk for space, making a mess of her furniture. SA 23/2 after 4 overs.
     
  • WICKET - Molineux to Lee... and gone! Lee looks to go all the way again but she ends up finding Ash Gardner in the deep. SA 20/1 after 2.5 overs.
     
  • SIX- Up, up and away! Lee gets into position early to launch a maximum towards the deep midwicket region. SA 15/0 in 2.1 overs.
     
  • FOUR - Lee pulls this away to glory! A shortish delivery from Schutt has been worked away to the backward square leg fence. SA 6/0 after 0.5 overs.
     
  • Schutt to open the bowling for Australia. Lee and van Nierkerk to start things off with the bat.
     
  • The covers are off. The revised target is 98 runs off 13 overs.
     
  • Reduction in overs imminent now. We need atleast 10 overs of play in the second innings, as well, to constitute a game. For a 10-overs match, the match should start by 4.19pm IST.
     
  • Khaka gives away six runs off the last; this is a good comeback considering she had leaked 17 in her last over. Australia sets South Africa a target of 135. Bad news, however.... IT HAS STARTED TO DRIZZLE AGAIN! The covers are coming on.
     
  • The 19th over has been South Africa's with Ismail conceding only five runs off it. AUS moves to 128/5.
     
  • FOUR - Khaka goes for the slower full toss and Lanning successfully cuts it away towards the offside fence. AUS 118/5 in 17.4 overs.
     
  • WICKET - What an evening de Klerk is having... Sensational stuff! South Africa needed someone to step up for Kapp and de Klerk has done just that. Haynes looks to go big this time, exposing the stumps. The ball keeps low and makes a mess of the woodwork. AUS 104/5 after 16.1 overs.
     
  • 100 comes up for Australia in 15.4 overs. How much do you think would the host be able to put up on the scoreboard? Let us know by tweeting to @sportstarweb. We will be posting the best tweets on our blog!
     
  • Chetty's not having a great day behind the stumps. First, she dropped Healy in the Powerplay and now she has offered a reprieve to Lanning off a missed stumping. Tryon hangs her head in despair. AUS 83/4 in 13.2 overs.
     
  • Shabnim Ismail, one away from 100 T20I wickets, has been brought in. South Africa will be missing Marizanne Kapp here, who is out with a viral infection. And straightaway, the pacer gets the ball to hit Haynes' pads. Strong LBW appeal, but looks like it is going down leg. AUS 81/4 in 13 overs.
     
  • WICKET - de Klerk again! That would be three wickets in three overs. South Africa ruining the host's hopes of defending the title here at SCG. Ashleigh Gardner is drawn into a drive with a teasing delivery outside off, and she nicks it to Chetty. AUS 72/4 in 10.2 overs.
     
  • WICKET - Nonkululeko Mlaba now! Jonassen's shot selection would raise questions here, with both long on and long off in place. Ismail sprints in a few yards, in time to get underneath the ball, and pouch a sitter. AUS 70/3 in 9.1 overs.
     
  • WICKET - Nadine de Klerk strikes! No real movement on that ball, which skids off the surface and sticks to the straight channel, cramping Mooney, not allowing her to free her arms. Bowled! AUS 69/2 in 8.3 overs.
     
  • SIX - Delightful! Lanning takes it on right out of middle, over mid-off. With van Niekerk's ball spinning away from her, this was a risky shot, one might say. AUS 64/1 after 8 overs.
     
  • Mooney and Lanning normally take some time to settle down in the middle, dominating the bowlers with frequent display of quick running between the wickets. The ones and twos will hold much importance in a match of such importance. South Africa needs to stop the run flow by setting a closer field. AUS 55/1 after 7.2 overs.
     
  • FOUR - Skipper van Niekerk to take things in her own hand. And straightaway Mooney has punished the first ball, quite off the right line. The ball, going down leg, has been worked away towards backward square leg. AUS 41/1 after 5.1 overs.
     
  • OUT! Alyssa Healy departs for 18 runs from 13 balls. Ayabonga Khaka makes the breakthrough. Skipper Dane Van Niekerk with the catch. Healy just chipped it towards mid-wicket, completely mistiming the shot in the process. AUS 34/1 after 4.4 overs.
     
  • Australia crosses the 30-run mark in the fifth over. Healy 18* and Mooney 14*. Good start by the openers.
     
  • Change of bowling as spin being introduced and it will be Nonkululeko Mlaba with her left-arm spin.
     
  • FOUR - In the air but it's wide of the fielder at mid-wicket as Monney goes for the pull, doesn't quite gets hold of it but the ball falls safe and rolls over the fence.
     
  • Mooney is also off the mark and Australia is up and running in the second semifinal. South Africa looking for an early breakthrough.
     
  • Ayabonga Khaka to partner Ismail.
     
  • FOUR - And Healy is underway with a ferocious cut over the extra cover region as the ball races away towards the fence. Australia 6/0 after 1 Over.
     
  • Important that South Africa makes early inroads as both Healy and Mooney can cause serious damage if they get going.
     
  • Alyassa Healy and Beth Mooney - the in form openers - take a good look at the surface and it will be Shabnin Ismail who will start proceedings with the new ball.
     
  • The South African players are in a huddle and off they sprint on to the field as the Australian openers make their way to the middle. Gonna be a cracker of a contest. 
     

PLAYING XI

South Africa Women: Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Mignon du Preez, Laura Wolvaardt, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Trisha Chetty (w), Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba

Australia Women: Alyssa Healy (w), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Rachael Haynes, Nicola Carey, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Delissa Kimmince, Megan Schutt

 

WHAT THEY SAID

AUS skipper Meg Lanning: "Strip looks really good. Hopefully we can make the most of it. Molineux and Kimmince come in for Perry and Sutherland."

SA captain Dane van Niekerk: "We are going up against the number one team in the world today. Very sad to say Marizanne Kapp did not recover. So she's out for the semi-final. Nadine de Klerk is in."

 

1:35 PM: South Africa wins the toss and chooses to field.

1:32 PM: Toss to take place at 1.35pm IST.

1:30 PM: The covers are off. Meanwhile, the Aussies players have started their warmup-session...

1:00 PM: The toss has been delayed. To complete a 10-overs-a-side match, the toss must be held by 8.36pm local time (3.06pm IST), and play must commence by 8.51pm local time (3.21pm IST).

12:42 PM: We might have a match after all! It has stopped raining and the umpires are inspecting the outfield even as the groundsmen are out there trying to soak up the water.
 

TEAMS

South Africa Women: Dane van Niekerk (c), Trisha Chetty (wk), Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez, Laura Wolvaardt, Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase

Australia Women: Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt, Sophie Molineux, Erin Burns, Molly Strano

 

MATCH PREVIEW

Australia's hopes of retaining the Women's Twenty20 World Cup in a blockbuster final on Sunday could fall foul of the Sydney weather, with heavy rain threatening to wash out Thursday's semi-finals.

A shock loss to India in its tournament opener means Australia finished second in Group A, so would be knocked out by Group B winner South Africa if its clash at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) isn't completed.

Cricket Australia (CA) had spoken with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the possibility of moving the matches to a reserve day, but had been told it was not possible under tournament rules, chief Kevin Roberts said.

Will Ellyse Perry's absence from Australia squad hurt the host's chances?

Will Ellyse Perry's absence from Australia squad hurt the host's chances?   -  Twitter/@T20WorldCup

 

“It's not part of the playing conditions and we respect that,” Roberts told Melbourne's SEN radio on Wednesday.

Stormy weather is forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology throughout Thursday at the SCG, with the chance of rain in the evening when Australia is scheduled to take on the Proteas ranging from 50% to 70%.

The loss of the four-times champion and host would be a major blow to hopes that Sunday's final will attract a crowd in excess of 90,000 at the MCG.

The host's immediate priority is to fill the void created by all-rounder Ellyse Perry's exit from the tournament with a hamstring injury.

100

Ellyse Perry walks off against New Zealand.   -  Getty Images

 

“We've got a few options that we're looking at to replace Ellysse,” Australia captain Meg Lanning told reporters.

“Obviously we can't truly replace her, but we've got a number of different options to go with depending on the conditions.”

South Africa is also fretting on the availability of all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, who suffered heart palpitation in Sunday's match against Pakistan and skipped training.

“A player's health is more important than a game,” South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk said.

“Whatever decision is made I am confident other players would step up and make sure she is not missed to much.”

(With inputs from Reuters)
 

WHERE TO WATCH?

The South Africa vs Australia 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup semifinal will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. Hotstar will be providing the online live streaming.