CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Australia reached its seventh straight Women’s T20 World Cup final by holding off India to win by five runs on Thursday.

Chasing Australia’s 172-4, India was 28-3 before a rally by the middle- and lower-order gave it a chance of an upset against the two-time defending champion and top-ranked team.

India needed 20 off the last 12 balls of the semifinal after Jemimah Rodrigues (43 off 24 balls), captain Harmanpreet Kaur (52 off 34) and Deepti Sharma (20 not out off 17) dragged the last World Cup’s losing finalist back into contention.

Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen bowled a superb penultimate over for Australia, holding India to just four runs off those six balls and claiming the wicket of Sneh Rana, who was bowled for 11.

With 16 needed off the last over to win, or 15 to tie the scores and force a Super Over, India got 10 and fell just short at 167-8.

“One of the best wins I’ve been involved in,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said. “India came hard at us so we knew this score would be hard to defend. But we pulled through in the clutch moments.”

The crucial wicket for the Aussies came earlier when Rodrigues tried to ramp a short ball over wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy but only succeeded in edging it to Healy. That ended a partnership of 69 with Kaur that had put India ahead of the required run rate after 10 overs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *