Women's World Cup semi-final, Potchefstroom
Australia 159-5 (47 overs beat England 158 (49.4 overs) by five wickets
Australia shattered England's dreams of glory at the Women's World Cup with a five-wicket semi-final victory.
Captain Belinda Clark top scored with 62 in Potchefstroom as they reached 159-5 with three overs to spare after bowling out England for 158.
A new ball spell of 3-11 from Cathryn Fitzpatrick meant England were up against it from the outset.
And although they fielded superbly with three run outs, Fitzpatrick hit two successive fours to seal their fate.
Playing in her fourth World Cup, Fitzpatrick finished 13 not out with partner Alex Blackwell on 10 to take Australia through to face New Zealand or India in Sunday's final.
The absence of new ball bowler Lucy Pearson, ruled out with a stress fracture in her shin, was keenly felt by England, who lacked a cutting edge with such a modest total on the board.
Veteran Clare Taylor, a member of England's last World Cup winning team in 1993, took her place and sent down 10 tidy but wicket-less overs despite turning an ankle early in Australia's innings.
Fitzpatrick was backed up well by wicket-keeper Julia Price
England made their opponents fight all the way but Clark's batting was a class above everyone else on the day and it came as a surprise when she gave a return catch to Isa Guha in the 37th over.
She began the day by winning the toss and putting England in, and it proved a shrewd move as Fitzpatrick bowled Laura Newton for four and then had Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards caught behind for nought and 13 respectively.
Captain Clare Connor (35) and Arran Brindle (32) steadied the innings with a stand of 59 but both departed during a mid-innings slump which saw four wickets tumble for 16 runs.
Connor was lbw to medium pacer Julia Hayes and Brindle followed when she was stumped after trying to attack the left-arm spin of Shelley Nitschke.
Leaving out Rosalie Birch and Lydia Greenway had left England with a longer tail than normal and when Australian keeper Julia Price completed her fourth dismissal by catching Nicki Shaw off Nitschke for three, it was left to Clare Taylor to try and supervise a rearguard action.
In what was probably her final World Cup innings, Taylor hung in for 29 before she was last to go, bowled playing across the line to a ball from Emma Liddell.
Needing early wickets to put some pressure on Australia, England picked up one as Brindle's brilliant throw from backward point ran out Lisa Keightley for four at the bowler's end.
She was on target again to remove the dangerous Karen Rolton for 14 but sensible batting by Clark, who appeared fortunate to survive an lbw shout from Katherine Brunt early in her innings, and Mel Jones (15) took Australia past the half-way mark in their run chase.
Jones was bowled as she attempted to sweep a ball from Connor and when Clark was out, another 36 were still needed by Australia.
Lisa Sthalekar weighed in with 29 before she paid the price for taking on Jenny Gunn's arm, but it was the last moment of celebration for England as Fitzpatrick took Australia through to their third successive final.
Australia: B Clark (capt), L Keightley, K Rolton, L Sthalekar, M Jones, K Blackwell, J Price (wkt), J Hayes, S Nitschke, E Liddell, A Blackwell.
England: C Connor (capt), C Edwards, L Newton, Claire Taylor, J Gunn, A Brindle, N Shaw, J Smit (wkt) K Brunt, Clare Taylor, I Guha.