NZ v Aus
NZ v Aus

New Zealand set themselves up for a place in the semi-finals of the women’s World Twenty20 with a six-wicket win over three-time defending champions Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Monday.

Asked to bowl first, New Zealand restricted Australia to 103/8 before surpassing the target with 22 deliveries to spare in a Group A match.

New Zealand’s third win in a row has almost certainly assured Suzie Bates’ team a place in the semi-finals even before its last league match against South Africa in Bengaluru on March 26.

Australia, hoping to win a fourth successive title, have been left with just one win in two outings and matches in hand against Sri Lanka and Ireland.

Australia made a disastrous start after electing to bat, losing the first four wickets for as many runs by the fourth over. Kiwi off-spinner Leigh Kasperek removed Australian openers Elyse Villani and Alyssa Healy off successive balls in the second over, both to catches at mid-on.

Australian skipper and star player Meg Lanning prevented a hat-trick, but was run-out off the first ball she faced, before Kasperek had Erin Osbore caught behind in the fourth over. Ellyse Perry rescued the Australians with a defiant 42 off 48 balls which included a six off Bates and three boundaries.

Perry, who walked in at number five with just two runs on the board, batted till the 17th over to take the total to 79/6 before she was adjudged out leg-before off Sophie Devine. Kasperek finished with figures of 3/13 while left-arm spinner Morna Nielsen, who opened the bowling, conceded just four runs from her four overs.

Bates and her opening partner Rachel Priest gave New Zealand a rollicking start, putting on 58 for the first wicket by the eighth over. Priest hit 34 runs off 27 balls and Bates was run out for 23. But Devine’s run-a-ball 17 ensured that New Zealand continued their recent good form against Australia.

Bates refused to accept that her team are the favourites to win a maiden women’s World Twenty20 title after beating the reigning champions.

“I am really proud of the way we played today but we are under no illusion that we will win the title,” the New Zealand captain said.

“We are treating every game as a knock-out game. I am sure if we play the way we are, we can win it. If things go our way, we can win it. But we are not looking too far ahead.”

New Zealand were runners-up in the first two editions, losing to England in 2009 and to Australia in 2010.

Lanning admitted Australia were outplayed by New Zealand.

“It is obviously disappointing, but we never quite got into the game. Once you get on the back foot, it is very difficult to recover,” the Australia captain said.

“New Zealand outplayed us in this game. We just did not play well enough and New Zealand did.”

Brief scores:

Australia 103/8 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 42; Leigh Kasperek 3/13, Erin Bermingham 2/23, Morna Neilsen 0/4) vs New Zealand 104/4 in 16.2 overs (Rachel Priest 34, Suzie Bates 23, Sophie Devine 17; Kristen Beams 1/25)

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    Bengaluru Bulls Thrash UP Yoddha In PKL Tie

    Pune, Oct 17 (IANS) Rohit Kumar created history as he scored 32 raid points to help Bengaluru Bulls hammer UP Yoddha 64-24 in their penultimate...

    U-17 World Cup: England Pip Japan, Advance To Quarters

    Kolkata, Oct 17 (IANS) England Under-17 boys did what their senior team footballers could not for many years by keeping their nerves during tie-breakers to...

    Preview: Bengaluru FC Look To Sweep Aside First-Leg Loss In AFC Cup

    Bengaluru, Oct 17 (IANS) Bengaluru FC will face off against Tajikistans FC Istiklol as both sides battle for a place in the 2017 AFC Cup...

    Italy To Face Sweden In European World Cup Play-Offs

    Zurich, Oct 17 (IANS) Four-time FIFA World Cup winners Italy will face Sweden in the European 2018 World Cup playoffs, as revealed by the highly-anticipated...

    Chelsea FC Conducts Football Clinics At Dharavi In Mumbai

    Mumbai, Oct 17 (IANS) London football giants Chelsea FC's foundation on Tuesday conducted a coaching clinic in the slum area of Dharavi in Mumbai. As part...