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Aussies to play England in women’s T20 final

Defending champions Australia will face England in the women’s World Twenty20 final after cruising past the West Indies by 28 runs on Friday.

Seamer Julie Hunter claimed 5-22 as Australia, restricted to 115-7 after electing to bat, shot the West Indies out for 87 in the semi-final at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

Lisa Sthalekar marked her 50th T20 international with a top score of 23 and then conceded just six runs in her four overs to help Hunter fashion Australia’s emphatic win.

Australia take on main rivals England in Sunday’s final looking to avenge a seven-wicket defeat during the league phase in Galle.

“We have great belief in the team,” said Aussie captain Jodie Fields. “It would have been nice to get 140, but we knew 115 was enough with the bowling we have.

“We can’t wait for the final.” Australia began the match on the wrong foot when Alyssa Healy was dismissed off the second ball and Jess Cameron fell in the third over, both wickets going to left-arm spinner Shanel Daley.

Sthalekar was supported in the recovery by Alex Blackwell (21), while Fields boosted the total with an unbeaten 19.

The West Indies collapsed to 28-4 before Juliana Nero (31) and Daley (25) revived their hopes with a fifth-wicket stand of 48. But the last six wickets fell for 11 runs.

“Our batting just fell apart,” said West Indies skipper Merissa Aguilleira. “I guess we have to say hats off to Australia because they batted and bowled very well.

“We are disappointed, but I am confident we will bounce back.”

Runs were hard to come by on the slow wicket, suggesting that the men’s semi-final later on Friday, also between Australia and the West Indies, could be a low-scoring game.

Hosts Sri Lanka have already qualified for the men’s final that takes place on Sunday.

Brief scores:

Australia 115-7 in 20 overs (Lisa Sthalekar 23, Alex Blackwell 21, Jodie Fields 19 not out, Shanel Daley 2-23, Shaquana Quintyne 2-23) West Indies 87 all out in 19.

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