ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: Semi-finalists have been decided, but where do things go from here?

The semi-finalists are set in stone in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, with England to contest India before Australia faces South Africa this Thursday.

 

Unfortunately it looks like rain could interrupt play. Let’s hope not. The decider in Melbourne on Sunday is sure to be a momentous occasion, and it would be a shame for weather to hamper any of the finals fixtures.

 

Let’s recap the final four matches of the round-robin competition.

 

Sri Lanka finally had a win, having restricted Bangladesh to 8-91 before romping home with 27 balls to spare for the loss of just one wicket.

 

Nigar Sultana Joty (39 off 45 balls) was the only Bangladesh batter to score more than 13, while Shashikala Siriwardena was Sri Lanka’s best bowler with 4-16.

 

Chamari Atapattu (30) departed with Sri Lanka’s total on 51, before Hasini Madushika (39 not out) and Anushka Sanjeewani (16 not out) guided the team home.

 

Siriwardena was given a fitting farewell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozd-IIoiPWU

 

The result of the crunch clash featuring the Trans-Tasman rivals was in doubt almost until the end, with Australia booking a semi-final berth at New Zealand’s expense as the tournament hosts held on for a four-run win. But the victory came at a cost, with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry sustaining a hamstring injury that ruled her out of the remainder of the competition.

 

Australia’s depth will be tested, but it should be pointed out that the hosts have not had to rely on Perry to make significant contributions with bat or ball.

 

Leg-spinner Georgia Wareham turned out to be an unlikely hero in Australia’s narrow win over the White Ferns, although many of her team-mates also made an impact.

 

Alyssa Healy failed with the bat this time before captain Meg Lanning looked like returning to form as she struck successive fours, only to perish to a sweep shot next ball.

 

Beth Mooney (60 off 50 balls) played another fine innings while Ash Gardner and Perry made useful 20s. But it was a late cameo from Rachael Haynes, who blasted 19 not out off 8 balls, that enabled Australia to reach 5-155. Thirty-three runs were added in the final 17 balls of the innings.

 

The White Ferns needed the experienced Sophie Devine to fire, but she was somewhat subdued with 31 runs off 36 balls.

 

Jess Jonassen trapped Rachel Priest lbw, before Wareham won an lbw appeal against Suzie Bates as Australia used the DRS to challenge the original ‘not out’ decision.

 

Wareham cleverly lured Devine out of the crease and had her stumped by Healy, but then Maddy Green threatened to turn the match New Zealand’s way. Sixty-nine runs were needed in the last six overs, before the 15th over yielded 16 runs.

 

Green hit another four in the 16th over but she crucially fell next ball in a near replica of Devine’s dismissal. Megan Schutt took two wickets with successive balls in the next over, leaving New Zealand needing 40 runs in the last three overs with four wickets in hand.

 

Those wickets must have been a huge relief for Schutt after she spilled a simple catch earlier in the innings.

 

With Perry forced off the field after bowling only two overs, Gardner was entrusted with the final over as New Zealand needed 20 runs. Three singles and a two virtually ensured an Australian win, before a four and a six made the result look like a nail-biter.

 

Intriguingly, the last-ball six came from a dropped catch while the delivery was perilously close to being a no-ball, as the ball reached Katey Martin at almost waist-height.

 

Martin’s 37 not out off 18 balls was a brave innings, but the White Ferns paid dearly for losing wickets at crucial times.

 

Having lost by three runs to India before suffering a four-run loss in their final match, the White Ferns were left to rue what might have been.

 

Check out the press conference following the battle of the Trans-Tasman rivals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siqDVtTEZFw

 

Click here for other video highlights from the Australia versus New Zealand match: https://live.cricket.com.au/match/2327/45676/australia-women-vs-new-zealand-women-icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020/highlights

 

Sydney rain unfortunately forced two no-results on Tuesday with the South Africa versus West Indies match washed out without a ball bowled, after Pakistan and Thailand had half a game.

 

South Africa consequently remained undefeated in Group B and therefore moved ahead of England, ensuring the Proteas would contest Australia instead of India in the play-offs.

 

Comically, the West Indians and South Africans had a dance-off while they waited in vain for play to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4GwUb_GfZU

 

What a shame that the Pakistan versus Thailand match could not be completed!

 

In its first World Cup, Thailand appeared to have a good chance of notching its maiden win after racking up 150 runs for the loss of three wickets.

 

Natthakan Chantam (56) and Nattaya Boochatham (44) provided the backbone of the strong total, having put on 93 runs for the first wicket. Chanida Sutthiruang (20) and Nannapat Koncharoenkai (20 not out) also contributed strongly.

 

Thailand’s bowlers and fielders would undoubtedly have been determined to protect their 150-run total while Pakistan would have been keen to chase it down, so in more ways than one it was a pity that the run chase could not eventuate.

 

Check out the press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quAx0EHq6Ek

 

 

To read Liam’s previous coverage of the T20 World Cup, click here:

 

 

 

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About Liam Hauser

A Queenslander through and through, Liam went out of his comfort zone as he had a thoroughly worthwhile time in Tumut and Gundagai from 2008 to 2016 before enjoying a year in Gunnedah. His strongest sporting interests are State of Origin, Sheffield Shield, Test cricket and the NRL. His sporting CV doesn’t have many highlights, although he once top-scored in a warehouse cricket match with 54 not out at number 10, and shared in an unbroken last wicket stand of 83 with the number 11 who scored an undefeated 52. Liam has written books including State of Origin 35 Years, A Century of Cricket Tests, A History of Test Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Rugby League, and The Great Grand Finals: Rugby League's Greatest Contests. Also a huge fan of Electric Light Orchestra.

Comments

  1. Steve Frances says

    Nice report Liam. I hope the weather in Sydney tomorrow allows for 2 games of T20, and also a great day for the final on Sunday. Bad luck for Ellyse Perry, but she will get to see her namesake Katy perform on Mar 8.
    Do you have selections for the top 8 in the NRL??

  2. Liam Hauser says

    Steve, I never like making predictions before the NRL season starts, because there’s so many variables and unknowns with injuries, suspensions, off-field dramas, controversies, rub of the green etc. That said, here’s my prediction for top 8:
    1 Roosters
    2 Melbourne
    3 Canberra
    4 Souths
    5 Parramatta
    6 Manly
    7 Penrith
    8 Brisbane

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