Australia thump New Zealand to book spot in CWG final against India

BIRMINGHAM: Megan Schutt starred with three wickets before the strong performance from the batters helped Australia Women beat New Zealand by five wickets in the second semi-final of the Commonwealth Games, here at Edgbaston on Saturday.

With the thumping win, Australia Women secured their spot in today’s final against India.

Australia’s remarkable depth in their batting played a crucial role in their triumph as typically reliable Alyssa Healy (14) and Meg Lanning (7) failed cheaply in their attempts to surpass New Zealand’s respectable total of 144/7.

All-rounder Tahlia McGrath remained impressive with her 34 off 23 as she combined excellently with opener Beth Mooney for a 56-run third-wicket stand before Rachael Haynes scored 19 off 18 and Ashleigh Gardner played an unbeaten knock of 19 off 20 to take their side to victory.

Kiwi pacer Lea Tahuhu, on the other hand, bowled superbly and grabbed three crucial wickets, however, her efforts went in vain as the fielding lapses cost greatly to the White Ferns and Australia achieved the target in the final over.

After being put into bat, New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine inspired with her scintillating knock of 53 off 48 while all-rounder Amelia Kerr showed great courage as she smashed 40 off 35 to help her side raise a competitive total amid a dismal show by other batters.

Right-arm pacer Schutt made an immediate impact when she bowled out Kiwi opener Suzie Bates for a duck and then removed Georgia Plimmer in the sixth over for 17 off 16.

Schutt had her third when she dismissed Brooke Halliday after she tried to dent Australian bowling with her powerful 16 off 10 deliveries.

For Australia, apart from Schutt, Tahlia bagged two wickets while Jess Jonassen made a scalp too.

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