The second semi-final between South Africa and Australia, marred with rains, saw only 33 overs of play. The South African side, which by D/L method was given the target of 98 to chase in 13 overs, fell short of 6 runs. Australia thus registered a 5 run win, advancing to the finals and will now face India this Sunday.

The Proteas skipper, Dane van Niekerk said in her post-match interview, “I felt good with the target we got. But we have to give credit to Australia for the way they bowled and we just came six short. We brought them back with the ball really well, they got off to a flier and we thought they’d get to 160. All the bowlers did really well, and credit to them for how they brought it back. It was very emotional to see the ladies like that. To come short every time is difficult, and we aren’t a team that blames anything or anyone, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t our year and it wasn’t our day.”

Meg Lanning, Aussie captain and player of the match said, “It was extremely tense. Even in the last couple of balls it just wasn’t safe. They needed 19 off the last over and we knew we had to nail it. But that’s T20 cricket for you; I was extremely nervous. We felt we had a good total without it being great. We felt that we needed to bowl really well to get the result we wanted. It was raining when we were coming out and we had a blueprint of how we had to bowl to them, from them. It has really just been about calming everyone down, the first few games just went on very quickly. We had to slow it down and get back to playing the cricket that we wanted to. We weren’t good in the first couple of games and then the openers just set it up for us. It was just a mindset thing. India are a class side, they have been playing excellent cricket. We are going to have to play really well. We have been improving each day, it hasn’t been an easy road.”

The Indian team, riding on the aggressive gameplay of its openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana to emerge on top in group A, were given the clear ahead to finals based on their group points after the first semi-final against England was abandoned due to rain. The young Shafali Verma, who just turned 16 last month has been instrumental in India dominating the group stages. Her 17 balls 39 runs knock against Bangladesh helped India clinch an 18 run victory. She and Mandhana have given Australian pacer Megan Schutt a run for her money; the bowler recently was quoted saying, “I just hate playing India – they’ve got the wood over me.”

“Smriti and Shafali have got me covered. That six Shafali hit me for in the tri-series was probably the biggest one I’ve ever been hit for. There are obviously some plans we’re going to revisit as bowlers. (But) clearly, I’m not the best match-up to those two in the Powerplay. They find me quite easy to play,” she added.

The final on Sunday at MCG will decide who gets to lift the cup: Team Blue or the Women from Down Under? Either way, both sides will be at their best and we can expect a thrilling contest to take place Melbourne’s ground!