Australia edge New Zealand in nail-biter to make T20 World Cup semis
Melbourne: A stylish 60 from Beth Mooney and controlled bowling Monday kept intact Australia’s record of making at least the semi-finals of every Twenty20 World Cup in a nail-biting four-run win over New Zealand.
The defending champions and four-time winners join India, England and South Africa in the last four, with the games played in Sydney on Thursday.
Australia have been dominant since the World Cup was introduced 11 years ago, but were upset by India in the opening game of the tournament.
Rattled, they bounced back emphatically against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before narrowly accounting for their trans-Tasman rivals, who leave the World Cup empty-handed.
The White Ferns won the toss and bowled at Junction Oval in Melbourne, snaring an early breakthrough. But Australia has incredible depth in its batting and Mooney led them to a competitive 155 for five.
Skipper Sophie Devine (31) and Katey Martin (37) led the chase, but Australia’s bowlers were up to the task, with spinner Georgia Wareham taking three crucial wickets.
“It was a crunch game and I thought we handled it really well,” said skipper Meg Lanning.
“I think we showed that we are able to be calm under the pump, we have done the basics right which gives us confidence going into the semi-finals.” – AFP