Women’s T20 World Cup: Australia into semi-finals with win over South Africa

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Australia have advanced to the semi-finals of the Women’s 20 World Cup, comfortably chasing South Africa’s total in Hkeberg.

The hosts posted an opening partnership of 58 but settled down in the middle overs when set a sub-par target of 125.

The five-time Australian champions were reduced to 40-3 in reply as Marizanne Kapp claimed two wickets.

But Talia McGrath and the unbeaten Ashley Gardner rebuilt to see Australia home with 21 balls to spare.

Australia enter the semi-finals with a game in hand as winners of Group One and are likely to face India after losing to England earlier in the day.

South Africa will have to hope that New Zealand thrash Sri Lanka on Sunday and then beat Bangladesh on Tuesday if they are to qualify for the play-offs.

The Proteas enjoyed a good start after Australia captain Meg Lanning led the team and Laura Wohlwaardt and Tazmin Brits reached 50 without loss in the ninth over.

But Woolwardt fell for 19 soon after and when Britain’s top-scorer of 45 and Chloe Tyrone were dismissed in the same Georgia, Wareham came to a serious halt through the home side.

Captain Sune Loos and Nadine de Klerk posted a partnership of 23 off 18 balls to drag the home side’s score to respectability.

The Aussies, who were missing key player Alyssa Healy with a quad injury, initially made hard work of a simple chase as Elise Perry, Lanning and Beth Mooney fell in successive overs.

But Gardner and McGrath repaired the damage, steady at first, then accelerating as their target came into view.

Top-scorer McGrath was caught off the bowling of Masabata Klaas, narrowly missing out on 57, but Meg Harris hit a boundary in the next innings to ease Australia into the semi-finals.

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