New Zealand will resume their long-term rivalry with Australia in Sunday's Women's World Twenty20 final after Sara McGlashan's stunning half-century earned a 56-run win over West Indies. McGlashan crunched a magnificent 84 from 55 balls as New Zealand raced to 180 for 5 and the bowlers backed up by restricting their opponents to 124 for 8.
Australia beat India by seven wickets on Thursday to reach the decider for the first time, but New Zealand will start as favourites following their dominant form in the format. They have also beaten Australia six times in a row and are the only team Alex Blackwell's side fears in Twenty20.
McGlashan showed why during her powerful performance and she gained excellent help from Sophie Devine as they delivered the highest score of the tournament. After being 49 for 2, McGlashan and Devine put on a speedy 93 at almost 11 an over to eliminate West Indies' chances.
Showing power and poise, McGlashan blasted two sixes down the ground and six fours, while Devine chipped in with 27 from 22. McGlashan fired a brutal boundary clearance to long-on from the offspinner Anisa Mohammad and in the same over Devine launched her into the stand at backward square leg. Those six balls cost 19 and New Zealand quickly went further ahead.
McGlashan brought up her half-century with a force for four through mid-on and followed next ball with a boundary to fine-leg. She also cleared the rope straight off Shemaine Campbelle before Devine produced a clever late cut for four.
West Indies had no answers despite trying spinners and medium pacers to stop the flood of runs. Devine fell in the 17th over, giving Shakera Selman (2 for 27) her second wicket, but McGlashan continued to plunder until she was beaten by Selman's direct hit from short third man. Nicola Browne thrashed a six to midwicket in the last over to finish unbeaten on 15 and provide a late surge.
The start of the match was disrupted by a heavy shower, which sent the players off after 10 deliveries, and Suzie Bates (7) was the first casualty on the resumption. The visitors suffered another early loss when their captain Aimee Watkins (20) tried to lift the rate and miscued.
West Indies' chase started brightly against two spinners operating with the new ball, but Watkins soon forced a legside edge from Pamela Lavine. With her side needing to score at nine an over, Stafanie Taylor provided some muscle as she targeted the legspin of Erin Bermingham. Taylor collected two sixes and Cordel Jack brought up the team's fifty in the sixth over with another clearance off the slow bowler, who gave up 28 in three overs.
Jack departed on 18 with a soft pull off Browne to midwicket and Taylor went in the following over when run-out for 40 off 33 by McGlashan. Deandra Dottin then managed a single before swiping at Browne and edging behind to Rachel Priest, leaving the hosts in serious trouble at 76 for 4.
West Indies tried to hit their way out of trouble but the assignment was too difficult and their flame went out. Watkins benefitted from the late thrashing to collect 3 for 26 while Browne and Lucy Doolan both finished with 2 for 20 off four overs.
New Zealand reached the final at last year's event but were beaten by England at Lord's, so the players are desperate to go one better this time. Only Australia stand in their way.