Australia survived a stern fightback from India to reach the final of the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Chasing Australia’s 172-4, India recovered from 28-3 before ultimately falling short of the target by five runs.
The defending champions relied on their top order to set up a massive score at Newlands, Cape Town.
Alyssa Healy 25 and her fellow opener Beth Mooney (54 off 37) gave Australia a perfect launching platform before Meg Lanning (49*) and Ashleigh Gardner 31 from 18 consolidated their teammates.
Australia’s innings also had an element of luck involved with wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh dropping Lanning’s catch when the Aussie captain was on 1 before Mooney was dropped on 32.
India’s 173-run target was made much harder when Shefali Verma (9), Smriti Mandhana (2) and Yastika Bhatia (4) all walked back to the pavilion with just 28 runs on the board.
There was still another twist in the game left as Jemimah Rodrigues (43 off 24 balls), and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (52 off 34) brought India back into the contest with a brisk 69-run stand which significantly brought down the asking rate.
Rodrigues and Kaur’s dismissal turned the tide of the game once again before Deepti Sharma (20* off 17) restored some hope for the last competition’s finalists.
With 16 needed off the last over to win, India managed only 10 to finish at 167-8.
The win over India takes Australia to their 7th consecutive Women’s T20 World Cup Final where the defending champions will either face England or South Africa.