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Women's Twenty20 semi-final as it happened

ICC Women's World Twenty20 semi-final, The Oval:

Result: England 165-2 (19.3 ovs) beat Australia 163-5 (20 ovs) by eight wickets


By Pranav Soneji


e-mail (with 'For Pranav Soneji' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

1602: Ladies and gents, there ends one of the most compelling 20 overs I have ever watched. See you back here in an hour for Sri Lanka v West Indies. I'm off to go and see the nearest medic to see if they can do anything about my 200bpm pulse.

Player of the match Claire Taylor: "It's really great to be involved in games like that. It was a challenging chase but that's why we train so hard so that when push comes to shove we can do that. Hopefully this win sets us up for the summer now."

1554: So England set up a replay of the World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday. Did anyone just see that run chase? I strongly urge you to watch the highlights at 2320 this evening on BBC TWO and on this website. A few of the men's team should tune in too for tips on how to chase an improbable total with all the composure of the Fonz taking a stroll in the Antarctic.

Andy, Stoke-on-Trent, TMS inbox: "If England win the Ashes this summer I won't be any prouder of my cricket team than I am right now."

1549: Taylor and Morgan's third-wicket stand added 122 runs from 75 deliveries, with Taylor finishing unbeaten on 76 from 53 deliveries, while Morgan's 46 came from 34 balls. A few emails about my 1530 entry - Omen is indeed by the Prodigy, but sung by Liam Gallagher, brother-in-law of Liam Howlett.


1547: 19.3 overs - England 165-2
Excellent start from Andrews, a dot ball outside off stump. Morgan collects a single with a drive down to long on. And that's it! Taylor scythes Andrews through point for four - if you are not standing at your desk - DO IT NOW! You will not see a better example of chasing such a daunting target with such composure and control in this tournament.

1544: 19 overs - England 160-2
Length from Farrell as Taylor eases two through point, but nervous running sees both players send the other back chasing the second. But Taylor has nerves of titanium as she paddles another sweep past the despairing one-handed dive of short fine leg for four. The Aussies are all over the place here as Leah Polton concedes a needless overthrow. Taylor wants to end this business as she creams another front-foot drive over extra cover, but her hopes of a boundary are cut short by a good diving stop. England need four to win. Sarah Andrews to bowl the last over of the day.

1540: 18 overs - England 148-2
Taylor is wreaking havoc in that deep extra cover area, picking up two with another well-placed drive off Pike. But a cardinal sin from the bowler, who sees a middle stump full-toss thumped over midwicket for four by Morgan, who then beats the short fine leg fielder for a second successive boundary. Quite brilliant, although she collapses to the ground after top-edging a sweep straight into the grill of her helmet. But a quick swig of water, a stern walkabout and the helmet is back on, much to the delight of The Oval faithful. England need 16 from 12 deliveries. I'm so nervous I might batter this keyboard into plastic dust.

1534: 17 overs - England 137-2
Wallop! Rene Farrell returns and sees her second delivery spanked over extra cover for her sixth boundary by Taylor as the required run-rate comes down to 8.7. But Farrell maintains her composure and sends down two priceless dot balls as Morgan moves to 36 with two to long on.

That's 50

1530: 16 overs - England 128-2

Kirsten Pike continues and sees Taylor double up, taking on the arm of the fielder at deep cover. More invention from Taylor, who brings up her 50 from 41 balls with a paddle sweep past short fine leg for four. Sensational batting as she adds two more with another well-judged double. "It's an omen" Liam Gallagher screams around the ground. Could well be, our kid...

1526: 15 overs - England 120-2
Beth Morgan greets the arrival of Ellyse Perry with a beautifully executed paddle off her front foot past short fine leg for four, while Claire Taylor goes aerial, middling a magnificent on-drive over mid-on for a one-bounce four to move to 44 not out. You will not see two better shots all day. Good comeback from Perry, who spears a yorker into the toes of Taylor, who jams her bat down to sneak a single. This is building up into a belter!

1523: 14 overs - England 108-2
A huge cheer erupts around the ground as Claire Taylor brings up the ton with a top-edged slog sweep which sails over the head of wicketkeeper Fields for four off new bowler Kirsten Pike, who looks as if someone has poured red wine over her brand-new Alexander MacQueen cocktail dress.

Andrew Brockman, TMS inbox: "I see both got the same score when on 12 overs looking like a great match come on England."

1518: 13 overs - England 99-2
Taylor is fortunate to see a thick outside edge evade the gloves of Jodie Fields as Beth Morgan lays into a short Sthalekar, rocking on her back foot and threading the ball between midwicket and mid-on for her second boundary. Another good over sees the duo, who have added 56 in six overs, add 10 to the total.

1515: 12 overs - England 89-2
Sloppy fielding in the deep sees Beth Morgan add a bonus second run off Nitschke, continuing to pressurise the fielders with excellent running between the wickets. Nitschke finishes off her fourth over with a wide delivery outside off stump, worked for two by Taylor.

1512: 11 overs - England 82-2
Lisa Sthalekar, bowling in a cap for some reason, and her brand of off breaks are introduced as Beth Morgan plants her right knee to the ground and sweeps to the vacant deep midwicket boundary for four. A deft late cut from Taylor adds two before a rank horror outside off stump gets everything it deserves as Taylor rocks on to her back foot and cuts down to deep point for another precious boundary, an over which yields 14 valuable runs.

1508: 10 overs - England 66-2
A Lisa Sthalekar fumble allows Morgan to add a bonus run off Nitschke, who is tossing up her deliveries like hand grenades, giving every delivery every opportunity to loop over the batters' eyelines. Morgan adds three more with a top-edge sweep which flies over Fields' head for three. England are still in this - just. As promised, Claire Taylor in action with the fiddle:

1505: 9 overs - England 59-2
Taylor continues to collect doubles, thumping a full toss through extra cover before working the ball off middle stump through square leg for two. Poor fielding from Kirsten Pike on the cover boundary sees Taylor pick up three bonus runs. Good over for England.

1501: 8 overs - England 49-2
Nitschke continues and just misses the outside of Taylor's off stump by a coat of varnish. Brilliant fielding from Ellyse Perry ensures a well-struck pull off the back foot by Taylor is trimmed to just two as Taylor paddles two behind short fine leg for a couple. Taylor and batter Beth Morgan have to pull out the big guns as the rate kisses the 10 an over mark.

Wicket falls

1458: 7 overs - WICKET Edwards ct Fields b Perry 25 England 43-2

Edwards steps across her off stump and smites Perry over midwicket, but Rolton is savvy and has a fielder stationed in the deep for that shot. She picks up two with a similar shot but gives her wicket away playing a horrible shot to a wide bouncer outside off stump, nicking a thin edge into the gloves of Jodie Fields. Tony Hills take an age to raise his finger - but it's up, cue rapture among the ladies in green and gold. Edwards looks forlorn as she trudges off towards the boundary.

1453: 6 overs - England 37-1
TFT - time for tweak - as Shelley Nitschke with her slow left-armers. Bowling over the wicket, she pins Taylor inside her crease, testing the patience of the batter, who just drops a frustrated drive short of Karen Rolton at mid-off. The England duo can only garner two from the over as the powerplay comes to an end. Excellent over, flexing her variations with impressive control.

1450: 5 overs - England 35-1
Ellyse Perry comes on for a joust and concedes four singles, all down to third man. The 18-year-old has a lovely side-on action.

Andrew Taylor (no relation), TMS inbox: "It's the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Reading. I'm the conductor. We're very proud of Tails (although she does miss a lot of rehearsals, for obvious reasons!)."

Claire is a violinist, my editor is desperately searching for the link of her in action.

1446: 4 overs - England 31-1
Wonderful shot from Taylor, who jumps on her back foot and guides Andrews through extra cover for a single. Edwards' eyes light up courtesy of a half-volley outside off stump, but annoyingly, her well-struck drive finds the fielder. She has more success on the leg side, shimmying across her crease and sweeping Andrews across the line past deep square leg for four. She does the same again, this time over midwicket, only to see her boundary hopes thwarted by a dastardly fielder in the deep.

Wicket falls

1439: 2.1 overs - WICKET Taylor ct Sthalekar b Farrell 6 England 23-1

Disaster as Sarah Taylor chips into the hands of Lisa Sthalekar at short midwicket. Needless, although she was probably trying to get her captain on strike. In comes the formidable Claire Taylor, who gets off the mark with a push through the covers. Excellent response from Farrell, who keeps Edwards in check. 3 overs - England 24-1

1438: 2 overs - England 22-0
Sarah Andrews' arrival with the new ball is greeted with two successive swots through midwicket from Charlotte Edwards, the arrogance of the bottom-hand shot... Edwards skips down the track for a more elegant drive, only to find the fielder at extra cover. But she pierces the infield with another classical front-foot drive - a gimme courtesy of a full-toss - for four. Excellent riposte from the hostss

Perry, TMS inbox: "This is shrewd captaincy from Rolton. By going for the onslaught - and succeeding - she knows England MUST attack. Meanwhile, she has Farrell hurling them down at 80mph+ - and perhaps the hardest of all to get away."

1434: 1 over - England 9-0
Dreamy front-foot drive through extra cover for four from Sarah Taylor, as classical as a Colin Cowdrey comb-over. She collects a single with a flick through midwicket as Farrell, who is getting a bit of in-wobble, sends down a couple of wides. Taylor adds two more with a flick off her toes for two. Good start for England.


1427: England's highest run chase of this tournament is 140, so this is a tough ask. Out come England openers Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor with Rene Farrell to take the new ball for Australia. Game on.

1421: With a whopping total to chase, England will have to harness the spirit of Virender Sehwag and Sanath Jayasuriya. Can they do it? They are world champions after all. The Aussies are bang up for this - their poor showing on home soil earlier this year is still smarting. However, we have a good wicket, some world-class batters in Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards and home soil.

Text in your views on 81111

Rich, Sutton, text 81111:

"This is gonna be a massive ask right? It's my fault really. I got tickets for the final in the hope of seeing England win on home soil. If I'd not bothered England would have them 65-7 right now. Sorry."

David, Spain, TMS inbox: "Guha hasn't had the best of series - and adds very little to the batting. Brunt was preferred. She adds pace and on occasion (batting) she can give the ball a hefty tonk."


Wicket falls

1412: 19.2 overs - WICKET Blackwell bowled Gunn 5 Australia 154-5

A full delivery from Gunn is dragged on to her stumps via an inside edge by Alex Blackwell. But more misery for England as Lauren Ebsary edges fine past third man for four. Excellent running sees her add four more from the final two deliveries of the innings as Australia set a mammoth total for the world champions. 20 overs - Australia 163-5

Wicket falls

1410: 18.5 overs - WICKET Sthalekar bowled Brunt 28 Australia 151-4

Sthalekar does The Ashraful as she swivels outside off stump and chips the ball past fine leg, brought up inside the circle for a brilliantly improvised four. Her unpredictability sees Brunt wing down a wide off stump, although her luck deserts her as Charlotte Edwards drops a difficult catch at midwicket before wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor grasses a regulation catch from the following delivery. But Brunt has her woman when she cleans up Sthalekar's stumps. In comes new batter Alex Blackwell. 19 overs - Australia 152-4

1405: 18 overs - Australia 143-3
New batter is Alex Blackwell, whose attempts to push the total towards 150 are thwarted by Gunn, who nails her in her crease with a yorker, but undoes her good work with a full-toss from the final ball of her over, but Blackwell can only plonk the ball into the leg side for a single.

Mark, Selby, TMS inbox: "Easy to be wise after the event, but where is Isa Guha? A proper, experienced, quality bowler?"

Wicket falls

1401: 16.5 overs - WICKET Rolton ct Brunt b Shaw Australia 138-3

Rolton makes room for herself on the leg side and marmalises Nicky Shaw past point for four, the fourth of her innings, taking her to 37 from 29 balls. Sthalekar plays second fiddle with aplomb, nurdling a single to bring her skipper on strike. But Rolton's back in the hutch as she looks to go aerial over mid-on again, but picks out Katherine Brunt, who takes an assured catch five metres from the boundary. 17 overs - Australia 139-3

1355: 16 overs - Australia 132-2
On comes Jenny Gunn, not that it matters a sausage to Rolton, who clears her front leg and smears the all-rounder back over her head for three, a shot which should have earned her four but for some brilliant fielding on the rope from Katherine Brunt. Rolton then absolutely launches into a full-toss, sending the ball high between mid-on and midwicket for a 75m-long six, an absolutely brutal blow.

Sarah Taylor, who really should be working, in Middlesbrough: "I hope England team can go on to win. Then hopefully they'll all get something in the next lot of Queen's Honours."

Working? Seriously impressive typing, especially considering you've got your wicketkeeping gloves on right now.

1350: 15 overs - Australia 117-2
Bare-faced cheek from Sthalekar, who steps across her off stump and paddles Nicky Shaw down to fine leg for four. Shaw recovers her line and length, but England really need another wicket to stem this second Australian wave.

1350: 14 overs - Australia 109-2
More tweak, this time in the shape of captain Charlotte Edwards, although her first delivery is hoiked to cow corner by Rolton with strength of the bear. The third umpire's eyes of the hawk are needed to judge whether Holly Colvin is successful in preventing Rolton's fourth boundary, but the Aussie duo pick up three for their endeavours. Edwards is all over the place right now, a wide before dropping short as Rolton clears over mid-on for two.

1345: 13 overs - Australia 96-2
Lovely sweep shot from Rolton, who sweeps Colvin past square leg for four. Sthalekar cuts a ball so fine right off her middle stump for a single, a stroke so precise, you would need a protractor to play it.

1342: 12 overs - Australia 89-2
More excellence from Marsh, who restricts both batters to three solitary singles, ending her superb spell of 1-12 from four overs. For Matthew Frosdick, the T20 highlights, which go out on BBC2 tonight for UK viewers, and will also be on this website on Saturday. There will be a piece on this women's match, as well as full highlights of the men.

1340: 11 overs - Australia 86-2
Lisa Sthalekar gets of the mark with a single off Colvin as captain Rolton thumps a full delivery down the ground for four. A good combo these two, Sthalekar - born in Pune in India - is an accumulator while Rolton can biff and bosh like heavyweight boxer with painful blows all over the ground.

Wicket falls

1335: 9.1 overs - WICKET Poulton bowled Marsh 39 Australia 78-2

Leah Poulton skips down the track and attempts to drive Marsh through extra cover, but misses the ball as it clips the top of off stump. New batter Karen Rolton - another leftie - cannot pierce the infield from the remaining five deliveries as Marsh serves up a much-needed wicket maiden. 10 overs - Australia 78-2

Wicket falls

1333: 9 overs - WICKET Nitschke ct Taylor b Colvin 39 Australia 78-1

This is brutal - Shelley Nitschke larrups 19-year-old Holly Colvin over extra cover for four, following that up with a sweep through square leg for another boundary. Colvin opts to go around the wicket and finally makes the much-needed breakthrough as Nitschke edges a cut into the grateful hands of Sarah Taylor.

1329: 8 overs - Australia 67-0
Laura Marsh, who conceded just two runs from her first over, returns as Charlotte Edwards desperately needing a breakthrough with runs haemorrhaging all over the place. Oh lordy! Jenny Gunn almost clings on to what would have been the greatest catch ever seen in cricket. Fact. Running at full pelt, she extends her left hand and clings on to the ball just millimetres from the ground, only to agonisingly drop the ball as her elbow makes contact with the ground. Awesome, awesome attempt - one to watch on the highlights on BBC One and this website tonight.

Gemma, TMS inbox: "With that hair, Ryan Sidebottom looks a bit like Mel the crazy stalker fan in Flight of the Conchords. He also looks like a young Roger Daltrey from The Who, who although isn't in Conchords, was in The Mighty Boosh!"

1324: 7 overs - Australia 60-0
Colvin time as left-arm spinner Holly - the leading wicket-taker in the women's competition with seven - comes on to stave the run flow. But her second delivery - a juicy full-toss - is thumped down the ground by Poulton for four, who adds her seventh boundary with a beautiful drive on the up over extra cover. Lovely use of the feet to get close to the pitch of the ball.

1324: 6 overs - Australia 49-0
Two huge swings and misses from Nitschke off Brunt, but the left-hander nails a short-ball pull outside leg stump down past fine leg for her second boundary before a lofted on-drive - the best shot of the afternoon so far - for four. End of the powerplay - and the Aussies are all over this.

1320: 5 overs - Australia 39-0
Shaw continues and sees a gift-wrapped full-toss, complete with bows, pulled to the leg side for four by Nitschke. Good running between the women in green and gold sees the pair pick up a further four runs. The runs are flowing like a fruity Barossa Valley red right now.

1317: 4 overs - Australia 31-0
Leah Poulton lays into a short and wide delivery from Brunt, crashing the ball over point's head for a flamboyant four. She skips down the track and hoiks the ball past mid-on before caressing her fifth boundary with a straight drive over the head of mid-off to move to 24. Nice comeback from Brunt, who beats the right-hander outside off stump with a delivery that bites off the pitch. Imposing start from the Aussies.

1313: 3 overs - Australia 18-0
An immediate bowling change sees seamer Nicky Shaw take over from Laura Marsh. Her first delivery is a front-foot no-ball, but Nitschke can only earn a single from the free hit. A major let-off for the left-hander, who is dropped by Caroline Atkins at mid-on, a catch she would usually snaffle nine times out of 10. And to make matters worse, Poulton smothers a wide full-toss outside off stump down the third man boundary for four.

Matt in Cambridge: "Re: 1244 I've always thought that Muttiah Muralitharan bears more than a passing resemblance to Murray, the manager in Flight of the Conchords..."

1308: 2 overs - Australia 9-0
Katherine Brunt, who featured in the opening match against Australia, takes the ball at the Vauxhall Road End, opening up with a leg-side wide. She sees Shelley Nitschke slash like a Guns and Roses axeman outside off stump, but only succeeding in a thick outside edge to third man for a single. But Poulton is more reassured, backing away to leg to smear Brunt over mid-off's head for the first boundary of the match.

1303: 1 over - Australia 2-0
Excellent start for Marsh, tossing up her deliveries like a pancake on Shrove Tuesday as both openers steal singles and nothing more.

1300: England are opening up with a spinner! Blimey, offie Laura Marsh to bowl the first over to Shelley Nitschke.

From Nameless in Leeds too excited about Marbella on Sunday to actually do any work: "Don't you mean 'Brit' from Flight Of The Conchords? (See 1244) But yes, he most definitely would!"

I'm sure someone else in world cricket looks like Jermaine, but I haven't quite put my finger on it yet - maybe a short-sighted Umar Gul?

1255: The Aussies have a slight psychological advantage over their opponents after a four-run win in a warm-up match at Taunton last week. The teams are out for the anthems and there's Karen Rolton, who could be playing her last match for Australia as captain. The 34-year-old made her debut in 1995.

1248: We have a fresh pitch at The Oval - it looks a belter. England have omitted Isa Guha, ranked five in the world, for Brunt. The Yorkshirewoman was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken cheekbone before England's group match against Sri Lanka after she was hit in the face during a fielding drill. But despite the nasty sticker around her right eye, she's set to take the new ball against Leah Poulton and Shelley Nitschke.

1244: "This is a big day for us - this is what we have always dreamed of," says England opener and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor when pressed on her thoughts about playing at The Oval. The poor girl will probably explode with excitement at the prospect of playing at Lord's on Sunday. Let's have your thoughts about this, that and whether if New Zealand wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan grew his hair and beard long, would look a spit of Brett from Flight of the Conchords via the TMS inbox, 606 (link above) or text 81111.

1239: The teams:
England: Sarah Taylor (wk), Claire Taylor, Charlotte Edwards (capt), Beth Morgan, Lydia Greenway, Jenny Gunn, Caroline Atkins, Nicki Shaw, Katherine Brunt, Holly Colvin, Laura Marsh

Australia: Leah Poulton, Shelley Nitschke, Lisa Sthalekar, Karen Rolton (capt), Jodie Fields (wk), Lauren Ebsary, Alex Blackwell, Rene Farrell, Ellyse Perry, Kirsten Pike, Sarah Andrews

1237: We have news of the toss - England captain Charlotte Edwards has won the toss and elected to bowl. Interestingly, Aussie captain Karen Rolton would have chosen to bat first. England have Katherine Brunt back after recovering from a nasty fielding accident. The pace bowler has a shiner to match Ricky Hatton's after Manny Pacquiao's anvil-laden left hook in Las Vegas in May.

1232: Afternoon! The Ashes are here! In a ladies Twenty20 kinda way. World champions England are two matches away from an unprecedented double, but standing in their way are five-times world champions Australia.

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