Australia defeated England by 16 runs in the ongoing Women’s T20 Tri-series, thereby securing a final clash with India.
Chasing 133, England had to put more than 124 runs on board to reach the finals, courtesy net run rate. However, disciplined Australian bowling restricted them to a lower score, and it was Australia and India who booked their place in the finals to be played on February 12.
Batting first, Australia were bundled out on a paltry total of 132 runs, all thanks to the England spin duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn, taking 2/19 and 2/18. A shaky start to the innings, saw Australia losing both openers within 16 runs. Beth Mooney anchored the innings with a sublime half-century but never got enough support from the other end.
Captain Meg Lanning contributed briefly, stitching a vital 38 run partnership with Mooney. Veteran batter Rachael Haynes made a crucial 21 ball 24 in the death overs to put up a respectable end to the Australian innings. Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy continued her struggle with the bat and Ellyse Perry failed to leave a mark adding just 10.
Australia were staring at the face of defeat again considering their below-par first innings. However, fortunes changed when their left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux (3-19) and fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck (2-18) got down to business. The duo never allowed England to look comfortable in the chase.
Chasing 133, England lost its opener Danni Wyatt (11) early on, courtesy Tayla Vlaeminck. What followed was a batting collapse during the middle overs which set the winning road for Australia.
The England scorecard painted a dismal picture with established names failing to leave a mark with the bat. Amy Jones (9), Natalie Sciver (16), Heather Knight (13), Fran Wilson (2), and Tammy Beaumont (6) to name a few. England just had to make 124 runs to book their place in the final on the basis of net run rate. However, reeling at 70/6 in the 13th over, the task proved too much for England and the side ended up losing the match by 16 runs.
On the basis of net run rate, Australia and India will play the final of the Tri-series in Melbourne on Wednesday.