Australia 7 for 132 (Mooney 50, Glenn 2-18) beat England 7 for 116 (Brunt 23*, Molineux 3-19) by 16 runs
A brilliant bowling performance from Australia young duo of Sophie Molineux and Tayla Vlaeminck has put Australia into the tri-series final against India after England were strangled in the middle overs chasing just 133 at the Junction Oval.
Molineux took 3 for 19 off the back of Vlaeminck's two early breakthroughs in the powerplay. Jess Jonassen also bowled a superb spell as England not only failed to chase down the total but they also fell short of the 124 needed to stay ahead of India on net run-rate after all three teams were tied on the table with two wins each from four matches.
Earlier, Australia's innings was held together by a calm and skillful half-century from Beth Mooney in the face of a top-order collapse against England's spin twins. Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn bowled superbly to take 4 for 37 between them from eight overs to leave Australia in a huge hole. But Mooney's defiance, plus a handy 24 from Rachael Haynes late in the innings gave Australia a defendable total of 7 for 132.
Australia will now meet India in the final on Wednesday at the Junction Oval.
Healy's horror run continue
Healy's last T20I innings prior to this series was a women's world record of 148 not out against Sri Lanka back in October last year. In this series, she has scored just 11 runs in four innings and yet again she fell to Katherine Brunt. After just three balls she pulled a length ball straight down the throat of Dani Wyatt who was perfectly placed at deep midwicket. Brunt has now claimed Healy eight times in T20Is. The spin of Ecclestone and Glenn then took control. Their lengths were outstanding, hitting the top of stumps consistently but they mixed their pace to cause Australia all sorts of issues with three big guns clean bowled. Ash Gardner was undone by Ecclestone, deceived completely in flight running down the track. Meg Lanning was bowled misreading length from Glenn after struggling to rotate the strike, while Ellyse Perry tried to create a cut shot from an Ecclestone arm ball that zeroed in on off stump. It left Australia 4 for 79 in the 13th over.
Rather than punching balls to fielders in the ring for no reward, Mooney was prepared to drop and run with soft hands and wait for the bad balls to come. Any width that was offered she was able to carve through and over the offside. She made her second half-century of the tournament from just 39 balls with six boundaries. But she too made an error in judgement against Glenn trying to pull a ball that skidded low and crashed into the stumps. But Haynes picked up the slack after a lean summer. She made a valuable 24 from 21 with a six and a four late in the innings to ensure the total ticked up over 130.
Perry noted during the week that extra pace would be a weapon in the T20 World Cup after Vlaeminck took 3 for 13 against India in Canberra last weekend. Vlaeminck's injury history has seen the Australian hierarchy use her sparingly in this series, playing just one game per weekend. She was badly missed against India on Saturday and proved why with a rapid spell that changed the game. England were cruising at none for 21 in the fourth over. Vlaeminck hit Wyatt in the helmet via a top edge with a ball nudging 120kph. She then had her caught off the glove down the leg side two balls later. Two overs later Vlaeminck was unfortunate not to have Nat Sciver lbw but was too quick for Amy Jones, rattling her leg stump to leave England 2 for 39 at the end of the powerplay.
Spin to win
Lanning held her spinners back until the ninth over with Sciver and Heather Knight looking very comfortable against Australia's other medium pacers. Sciver tried to target Molineux straight away and holed out to deep midwicket. It started a rot with Molineux and Jonassen matching what Ecclestone and Glenn did earlier. The two left-arm orthodox bowlers targeted the stumps and mixed their lengths and lines to put England in a spin. Heather Knight was stumped running past one from Molineux after her and Fran Wilson scored just 7 runs in 10 balls following Sciver's dismissal. Wilson was also stumped off Jonassen while Tammy Beaumont was bowled trying to reverse sweep Molineux as the run-rate ground to a halt. It left England 6 for 70 needing 63 runs from 42 balls. They were unable to get near Australia's target with the tail only scoring five boundaries in the last seven overs to miss out on the final.