Defending champion Australia moved one step closer to the victor’s podium after defeating the West Indies by 28 runs in the ICC World Twenty20 women’s semifinal at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Friday. The West Indies mustered 87 in reply to Australia’s 115 for seven.

The women from the Caribbean failed to last long against the fine seam bowling that Ellyse Perry (two for 19) and Julie Hunter (five for 22) dished out. The West Indies was also suffocated by off-spinner Lisa Sthalekar, whose combined spell read 4-0-6-0!

Elysse made early inroads with her deliveries twice striking the stumps and the West Indies barely managed to stay afloat though Juliana Nero and Shanel Daley added 48 runs for the fifth wicket.

As Julie scythed through the tail, the Australian men’s team support staff, notably coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Justin Langer, nodded their heads in approval from the stands.

In the afternoon, Australia suffered a twin-blow in the Power Play after Shanel castled Alyssa Healey (first over) and Jess Cameron (third over), who were guilty of trying to cut deliveries that did not offer width. The middle-order offered a string of cameos with Sthalekar (23) leading the way until she found a diving Shemaine Campbelle at the mid-wicket fence.

The innings then petered out with two run outs in the slog but Australia’s bowling efficiency and fine fielding then combined well to unsettle the West Indies.

The scores: Australia: Alyssa Healey b Shanel Daley 0, Meg Lanning c Stefanie b Shaquana Quintyne 19, Jess Cameron b Shanel 11, Lisa Sthalekar c Campbelle b Smartt 23, Alex Blackwell c & b Shaquana Quintyne 21, Jodie Fields (not out) 19, Rachael Haynes (run out) 15, Erin Osborne (run out) 1, Julie Hunter (not out) 3; Extras (lb-1, w-2): 3; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 115.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-14, 3-36, 4-68, 5-81, 6-111, 7-112.

West Indies bowling: Shanel Daley 4-0-23-2, Stefanie Taylor 3-0-19-0, Anisa Mohammad 3-0-20-0, Shemaine Campbelle 3-0-15-0, ShaquanaQuintyne 4-0-23-2, Tremayne Smartt 2-0-7-1, Shakera Selman 1-0-7-0.

West Indies: Stefanie Taylor b Ellyse Perry 3, Juliana Nero b Julie Hunter 31, Merissa Aguilleira lbw b Julie 2, Deandra Dottin b Ellyse 6, Shemaine Campbelle (run out) 5, Shanel Daley c Alex Blackwell b Osborne 25, Stacy Ann-King c Ellyse b Julie 1, Tremayne Smartt c Jess Cameron b Julie 5, Shaquana Quintyne lbw b Osborne 2, Anisa Mohammad c Meg Lanning b Julie 1, Shakera Selman (not out) 0. Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-4): 6; Total (in 19.2 overs): 87.

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-17, 3-23, 4-28, 5-76, 6-78, 7-79, 8-86, 9-87.

Australia bowling: Ellyse Perry 4-0-19-2, Lisa Sthalekar 4-0-6-0, Julie Hunter 3.2-0-22-5, Erin Osborne 4-0-20-2, Jess Jonassen 4-0-18-0.

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