Australia enter Finals after beating New Zealand in a thriller by 5 Wickets

The 2nd semifinal at the Commonwealth Games had the Trans-Tasman touch with New Zealand and Australia locking horns. The White Ferns didn’t have the best of starts but recovered well and a steady-paced innings got them to a respectful total. Australia in reply lost a couple of early wickets and it again was the pair of McMooney at the repair work for the side and the pair of Grace Harris and Ashleigh Gardner finishing the job to keep the dream of a Gold at Games alive.

 

Australia enter Finals after beating New Zealand in a thriller by 5 Wickets. PC: Getty Images
Australia enter Finals after beating New Zealand in a thriller by 5 Wickets. PC: Getty Images

1st innings : New Zealand – 144/7 (20)

Australia having won the toss, opt to bowl first and had the start they would have wished with Megan Schutt handing a golden duck to Suzie Bates. Georgia Plimmer overturned a decision off her first ball on debut and alongside her skipper, Sophie Devine got going with a few boundaries to not let pressure pile. Megan Schutt was reintroduced for the final over of the powerplay and picked up Plimmer on 17(16) and New Zealand finished their powerplay on 39-2. Sophie Devine was set and was joined by Amelia Kerr who as a pair got the odd boundaries and scored at a decent pace to stitch a partnership that got New Zealand to a score of 63-2 at halfway mark. The need was then to accelerate and the pair did just that with a couple of 10 run overs that saw the pair share a crucial 50-run stand and finish their 15 overs with a score of 101-2 on board.

Jess Jonassen’s reintroduced saw Sophie Devine with a boundary and then a maximum get to her 50* off 46 before Jess had the last laugh having dismissed her a ball later on 53(48) as a crucial 73-run stand too saw curtains. The following over saw Tahlia McGrath get on the wickets column having struck Amelia Kerr on 40(36). McGrath soon had her 2nd having dismissed Tahuhu on 3(4), but Halliday on the other end struck an invaluable 16 off 10 before Schutt picked her bowling the final over of the innings which saw New Zealand finish their 20 on a score of 144. Australia had Megan Schutt with 3 wickets on the top of the wickets chart that had Thalia McGrath with her couple and Jess Jonassen with her one follow. A mention to Darcie Brown who registered figures of 4-0-19-0.

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2nd innings : Australia – 145/5 (19.3)

Australia in reply saw openers Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy get going, but wasn’t a lot as Tahuhu was into the attack and off her first ball struck Healy on 14(10) to dent a blow to the Australians. Meg Lanning was in and had a welcome six that’d come her way, but failed to make the most of it as a ball later Tahuhu had the last laugh having dismissed Meg on 7(11). Mooney with a couple of boundaries got Australia to close their powerplay overs on 40-2. Tahlia McGrath alongside Beth Mooney, the pair of McMooney was again at Australia’s rescue as they gathered runs, struck boundaries and got Australia to a score of 75-2 at halfway mark. The following over saw the pair share a 50-run stand and the firing Tahlia McGrath run out on 34(23) that got their 56(36) partnership to a close.

Beth Mooney managed a couple more boundaries before Tahuhu’s reintroduced led to Beth Mooney’s walk back on 36(29). Rachael Haynes and Ashleigh Gardner got a few boundaries and runs which helped Australia get to 111-4 at the end of 15 overs. The duo got Australia to inch closer to the victory but couldn’t close it out as Haynes departed on 19(18) as skipper, Sophie with the ball stepped up. The pair of Grace Harris and Ashleigh Gardner again finished a game for Australia, this time with a 16-run partnership that proved enough for Australia as they won the contest by 5 wickets with Gardner and Harris unbeaten on scores of 19(20) and 8(7) respectively. For New Zealand, Lea Tahuhu with figures of 4-1-20-3 top the wickets chart and had Sophie Devine with her one follow.

Conclusion

Clinical again from Australia, first with ball and then with bat. New Zealand like they would have known, fell a few short and a little better finish could have seen them on the other side of the fence but wasn’t to be as they’ll now contest with England for the Bronze medal. Whereas, it’ll again be a rematch of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2020 final now at the Edgbaston for the Gold medal match with Australia and India set to lock horns. It then was Australia and now, well, we’ll find out in less than 24 hours.

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