Australia beat South Africa to make women's T20 World Cup final
Australia's players celebrate after winning against South Africa during the T20 women's World Cup semi-final in Sydney. AFP
Defending champions Australia powered into their sixth women's Twenty20 World Cup final Thursday to meet India after ending South Africa's dreams in a rain-hit semi-final.
Set a revised 98 from 13 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after Australia made 134 for five off their 20 overs, the South Africans managed 92 for five to just miss out on a first-ever final.
The Proteas won the toss and put Australia in to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground after rain that soaked the city all day finally cleared. Their total was spearheaded by skipper Meg Lanning's 49, while Nadine de Klerk took three wickets for just 19 runs.
Set a revised chase, big-hitting South Africa opener Lizelle Lee smacked a huge six off spinner Sophie Molineux to get the run chase underway, but then holed out to Ashleigh Gardner on the boundary ropes.
Skipper Dane van Niekerk looked dangerous but pace spearhead Megan Schutt clean-bowled her for 12, then Lanning took a difficult catch to remove Mignon du Preez and leave South Africa struggling at 26 for three after five overs. Laura Wolvaardt (41 not out) and Sune Luus (21) got them back on track with some power-hitting to set up an exciting finale with 32 runs needed off the last three overs -- only to fall five runs short.
Earlier, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy aggressively set about building a big total for Australia. Healy was dropped in the fourth over by wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty after smacking two successive fours from Nonkululeko Mlaba.
But she didn't make the most of her second life, falling in the next after a quickfire 18 off 13 balls. In-form fellow opener Mooney blasted 28 and looked in fine fettle until she was clean-bowled by Nadine de Klerk.
South Africa successfully put the brakes on the run rate with Jess Jonassen gone after three balls as Australia reached 70 for three at the halfway mark. Ashleigh Gardner then went without scoring to de Klerk, getting an outside edge as the collapse continued.
Rachael Haynes made a battling 17 in a 32-run stand with Lanning before she too departed to de Klerk, as the captain was left to carry her team to what became a winning total.