Australia women cruise into final

Alex Blackwell & Sulakshana Naik

Captain Alex Blackwell orchestrates Australia's successful pursuit of 120 to win the first women's semi-final in St Lucia

Australia women set the standard for their male counterparts by booking a place in the ICC World Twenty20 final courtesy of a convincing win over India.

Less than 24 hours before the men’s side face Pakistan in the second semi-final, the women produced a polished display to cruise home with seven wickets and seven balls to spare in St Lucia.

Captain Alex Blackwell led by example, hitting 61 off 49 balls to marshal Australia’s pursuit of 120 to win, while Leah Poulton completed the job with an unbeaten 30.

Australia’s triumph, however, was founded on an impressive performance with the ball and in the field.

Ellyse Perry’s four overs yielded only 19 runs and contained the key wicket of Poonam Raut, who made a patient 44 at the top of the order in a total of 119 for five.

Harmanpreet Kaur was the next highest scorer with 24, before she was run out by Perry’s clever flick as she backed up at the non-striker’s end.

West Indies and New Zealand women meet today to decide the identity of Australia’s opponents in the final, which will be held in Barbados on Sunday after the men’s showpiece event.