Australia v England, Women's World T20, 1st semi-final, Delhi March 30, 2016

Australia Women surge into fourth straight final

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Australia Women 132 for 6 (Lanning 55, Healy 25, Sciver 2-22) beat England Women 127 for 7 (Beaumont 32, Edwards 31, Schutt 2-15) by five runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:49
'Our fielders did a great job' - Lanning

International victories are sweet, but some are sweeter than the others. On Wednesday, it was Meg Lanning-led Australia Women side that won the bragging rights over England Women, who stumbled to yet another defeat to their arch-rivals in a knockout clash. It left Australia eyeing a delicious prospect of pitching for their fourth successive Women's World T20 title come Sunday.

Lanning's 50-ball 55 on a slow Feroz Shah Kotla deck was the cornerstone to Australia's 132 for 6. England, who needed to achieve the highest successful run chase in the tournament to have a crack at their second title, choked despite having the target well within touching distance. They imploded with a combination of nerves and reckless shots. Katherine Brunt, who had a forgettable day with the ball, muscled a six and four to bring the equation down to 17 off 10 deliveries before Australia's killer instinct prevailed; England agonisingly falling short by five runs.

England came out all attacking in their chase, and also benefitted from some luck as a diving Beth Mooney put down a tough chance offered by Tammy Beaumont at mid-off in the fourth over. Charlotte Edwards, who started slowly, lent the artistic touch to the innings, before she chipped a catch to cover, against the run of play. Her dismissal ended a 67-run opening partnership that came at better than a run a ball.

Sarah Taylor, who had failed in each of her four innings in the group stages, then showed why she is a feared striker in the women's game as she stamped her authority immediately by hitting Jess Jonassen inside-out over cover for six. But the pressure of the asking rate resulted in her partners attempting shots they wouldn't otherwise.

Beaumont, after doing all the hard work, chipped one to cover where Lanning pulled off a stunner. Nerves then turned into proper panic when Natalie Sciver, who had brought England back into the contest with the ball, walked across the stumps, only to miss a full and straight delivery from Ellyse Perry. By then, England were reduced to 91 for 3, needing 42 off the last five overs.

Lanning then introduced spin even as Taylor, who grew increasingly frustrated, tried to reverse sweep and paddle her way, but to no avail against Kristen Beams, the legspinner. The slowness of the surface forced another change as Erin Osborne, the offspinner, brought in for the first time in the 17th over struck off her second delivery as Heather Knight holed out to long-on. From bossing the chase, England had almost bottled it by that point as the asking rate escalated to close to 10 runs an over.

That Australia had the luxury of runs on the board was courtesy a strong start from the openers Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani. Healy, under scrutiny after a poor run of scores in the tournament, did the early running by taking the attack to Brunt and Anya Shrubsole with a 41-run stand, their highest of the tournament.

Healy's game is mostly about timing, and she set the template early on, showing the surface was a far cry to the ones both sides had encountered early on. Healy's four boundaries in the first three overs somewhat took pressure off Villani, who took a while to get going. England's pacers were guilty of not varying their pace and were duly put away, the first four overs yielding 35, before Australia were pegged back by a double-strike.

Sciver, the seamer, struck in her first over as Villani missed a straight one to be adjudged lbw. Off the next over, the sixth, Healy, also fell lbw attempting a reverse paddle to give Laura Marsh a breakthrough and leave Australia at 50 for 2.

Lanning and Perry did what they do best, milking the runs in the middle overs through smart strike rotation, seldom looking for the big hits to largely defensive fields set by Edwards. England didn't help their own cause by reprieving Lanning twice, once on 20 and 45, with Taylor being the culprit on both occasions.

Lanning went on to make a half-century, and help Australia post a more than competitive score courtesy support from her deputy Alex Blackwell, who contributed all of 11 in a 37-run stand for the fourth wicket. While most other sides may have looked to hit out, the match awareness of the pair on a surface that demanded application, and not flamboyance, may have resulted in those few extra runs that made the difference in the end.

As much as those extra runs may have come in handy, it wouldn't have been enough had Rene Farrell not brought her experience into play. She held her nerve, defending 12 off the final over in style, as Australia showed why they were the three-time champions.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on March 31, 2016, 13:05 GMT

    @ JG2704 - I totally agree with you. I heard Robinson too in the interview with Aggers. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The batting choked big time - for him not to address that is shocking. He kept saying it was close and they only lost by 5 runs, and that it was lost in the field. Nonsense. He didn't mention the fact they they had the game in the bag after 10 overs and should've knocked the singles to coast home. I hope he's more honest with the players than he is with the fans. Disappointing

  • JG2704 on March 31, 2016, 6:50 GMT

    I listened to it on the radio and I found Robinson to be a little delusional. He said the game was lost in the field and seemed to attach more fault in that dept. The scorecard and commentary told a different story and as already said , it has been an accident waiting to happen. It seems we need to learn about high risk shots for low rewards

  • nagena on March 31, 2016, 6:17 GMT

    England Women losing to Australia Women was signalled a long way off, when they started their counter attack after Australia had made a very reacheable 132. England were seduced by how well they started batting, thinking it was all going to be too easy. Strokes towards the boundary again and again only produced one run, not even two. But the score rate was more or less the same as Australia's. Is that what their coach means when he says they were physically unfit? Did he point out their scoring rate, or is he trying to cover up his leadership?! Even when the wickets started falling there seemed to be no organised plan to improve their run-getting, until too late. England had been out-thought by Australia. It will have proved a bitter pill to swallow! At least part of the blame must lie with the coaches, whom the cameras showed looking sanguine throughout. And yet the signs had been obvious for most of the England knock

  • CodandChips on March 31, 2016, 5:00 GMT

    Shame for England but with these batting collapses, it was only a matter of time before they weren't gonna lose. Beaumont and Edwards have both had good tournaments at the top, but the middle order onwards has been pretty poor. Make no mistake, England choked today, like they nearly did against India

  • izzidole on March 31, 2016, 1:02 GMT

    Australia's men's cricketers should next time take a leaf from their women counterparts how to play T20 cricket and win a T20 trophy. Even when England were dominating the game one time they somehow managed to keep fighting and turn the game in their favour eventually winning the match. The current Australian men's cricket team is lacking the fighting spirit and surrenders to the opposition easily. If only there was no discrimination I am sure many women cricketers like Perry, Lanning and Healy wold easily walk into the Australia's men's cricket team. I wish the Australian Women's Cricket Team all success in their bid to win their 4th T20 cricket world cup trophy.

  •   Raph Walker on March 30, 2016, 20:26 GMT

    Nevermind England women ,we still proud of you.

  • John-Price on March 30, 2016, 18:16 GMT

    When Edwards was out England needed a tiny bit over one a ball for ten overs with nine wickets left. They never looked like getting them. Other than the three hits to the boundary, all we saw were speculative swings, which invariably trickled out to a fielder for a single. No placement, no timing no game awareness. Truly awful display.

  • jb633 on March 30, 2016, 15:59 GMT

    English women's team is going nowhere but backwards imo. There has been no class new player in the last five years and the same players are relied upon time and again. If the drubbing they got in the Ashes was not a wake up call hopefully this will be. There is nowhere near enough scrutiny on the system imo.

  • pwcricket on March 30, 2016, 15:33 GMT

    England's problems here, as with other matches, lay in their middle order being unable to play sensible cricket and bat to the situation. Once Edwards was gone, they lost direction and panicked. In post match interviews, Edwards has been saying that the batting after the openers have gone has been the problem. The new coach sees it as a combination of fitness, fielding and bowling, primarily. My feeling is that Edwards is not part of his plans and if she can't run twos and threes, she's not worth her place in the team. Edwards sees more basic and obvious problems. I see tears on the horizon.

  • ebeyah7 on March 30, 2016, 14:35 GMT

    Feel for Sarah. She has looked quite good but always plays that one shot too many. Trying to be too innovative has more often than not led to her downfall. When she's in full flow, there's not a single player in the world who'd come close to her. We did see that rare Wicket keeping mistake today, but again i'd say that there ain't anyone in the women's circuit that can match her set of skills and knowledge on keeping. Tough luck. Hopefully there won't be a double heartbreak for the English today.

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