Australia 97 for 2 (Perry 47*, Lanning 41*) beat England 96 (Davidson-Richards 24, Kimmince 3-20, Schutt 2-13) by eight wickets Scorecard
Delissa Kimmince's career-best 3 for 20 helped Australia restrict England to their joint second-lowest T20I score, before their batsmen razed the 97-run target in just 11.3 overs. Both sides will face each other in the tri-series final on March 31.
England's rut started right at the top as they lost Danielle Wyatt, their centurion from the previous game, off the fourth ball after Australia opted to field. Kimmince sniped out Tammy Beaumont in the fourth over. Two overs later, Amy Jones and Nat Sciver were gone. Sciver's dismissal was particularly breathtaking as Meg Lanning snaffled a one-handed airborne, back-arching blinder at mid-off before falling on her right shoulder, which is still under recovery from a surgery.
England's 40 for 4 became 40 for 5 six balls later as Heather Knight, the captain, was trapped plumb in front while attempting a premeditated sweep. This capped off a full-blown collapse they couldn't recover from. A 27-run seventh-wicket stand, the highest of the innings, between Jenny Gunn and Davidson-Richards helped deny Australia for a while, but they didn't threaten to take the game away from England. Kimmince's return for her second spell triggered another collapse as England lost their last four wickets for just eight runs. Davidson-Richards top scored with 24 in the team's 96 all out in 17.4 overs.
Australia came out all guns blazing. Opening in Beth Mooney's absence because of a mild abdominal strain, Perry peppered nine fours en route to an unbeaten 32-ball 47 to go with her 1 for 25. Keeping her company for the greater part of the chase was Lanning, who became the first Australian - male or female - to notch up 2000 runs in T20Is.
That Lanning was out to bat in the fourth over was down to Natalie Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone removing Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani for single-digit scores. The first five overs fetched Australia 21 runs, but the sixth alone earned them those many as Lanning carted five back-to-back fours off offspinner Danielle Hazell.
Lanning began with an inside-out drive over point, followed by two firm hits through the covers. A change of angle from Hazell made no difference to Lanning's approach as she then backed away to sweep the delivery fine. The fifth, another inside-out lofted drive, fell inches short of the cover boundary, with the sixth ball intercepted for a single at extra cover.
Lanning's 28-ball 41, her highest score on this tour, featured eight fours, including one off Ecclestone in the seventh over that earned her the milestone 2000th T20I run. Perry, on her part, smashed four fours off the tenth over, bringing the equation down to 20 off the last ten overs. It took Australia another nine balls to seal the chase, with Perry sweeping Hazell for a four past backward square leg.