Australia have secured their spot in the Commonwealth Games T20 semi-finals in emphatic fashion, thrashing Barbados by nine wickets at Edgbaston.
Alana King was denied a hat-trick and her first international five-wicket haul when skipper Meg Lanning put down a simple chance at slip, but the leg-spinner still led the way with 4-8 from her four overs as Barbados were bowled out for 64.
“That’s cricket right – no-one means to drop it or anything,” King said of the missed chance.
“It’s just the way the game goes, I’m happy that I can contribute in the way I can.”
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) July 31, 2022
Beth Mooney was stumped for two in the second over of the Australian chase, and Alyssa Healy was sluggish early, crawling to four from her first 14 balls faced.
But Lanning (36no off 21) was in no mood to muck around, belting four fours and two sixes, including 25 runs from Deandra Dottin’s first over.
“I was just keen to contribute really,” Lanning said.
“That over from Dottin I got a few loose balls to put away and I got a little bit of rhythm which was nice.”
Healy (23no off 24) then joined in the fun with back-to-back boundaries, as the experienced pair saw Australia home in 8.1 overs.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) July 31, 2022
Sent in by Australia captain Lanning, Barbados’ hopes largely rested on the shoulders of star openers Hayley Matthews and Dottin.
Matthews (18 off 13) started brightly, smacking four boundaries off Darcie Brown, but the teenage quick had the last laugh, getting the better of the Barbados captain with a short ball that was miscued high and safely into the hands of Grace Harris.
Dottin struggled to get going, finding the boundary just once before she was trapped on the pads by King, out for a 22-ball eight.
No other Barbados batter reached double figures as Australia made regular inroads, King leading the way as she bowled Aaliyah Alleyne (8) in the 13th over, then found herself on a hat-trick in the 15th when she removed Shakera Selman (0) and Shamilia Connell (0) with consecutive deliveries.
The Australian fielders crowded around the bat and King drew a thick edge off the bat of Keila Elliott, only for Lanning to fumble what should have been a straightforward catch.
“I’ll have nightmares” Lanning said of the dropped chance, which went slightly to her right chest-high.
“I wanted to dig a hole and jump in as quickly as I could.
“I don’t know – I tried my best and I dropped it.
“I was just disappointed for Kingy. She was bowling so well and to let her down like that was not ideal.”
It mattered little to the Australian’s cause, however, as Barbados were bowled out on the final ball of the innings for 64.
Tahlia McGrath (3-13) and Ashleigh Gardner (2-6) were the other multiple wicket takers.
Australian XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Jessica Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
Barbados XI: Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews (c), Kycia Knight (wk), Kyshona Knight, Aaliyah Alleyne, Trishan Holder, Alisa Scantlebury, Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell, Keila Elliott, Shanika Bruce
2022 Commonwealth Games
Australia’s squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda- Jade Wellington
See all the Commonwealth Games cricket squads here
Group A: Australia, India, Pakistan, Barbados
Group B: England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka
July 29: Australia beat India by three wickets
July 31: Australia beat Barbados by nine wickets
August 3: Australia v Pakistan (11am local, 8pm AEST)
Semi-finals: August 6, 11am local (8pm AEST) and 6pm local (3am Aug 7 AEST)
Bronze medal match: August 7, 10am local (7pm AEST)
gold medal match: August 7, 5pm local (2am Aug 8 AEST)
All matches played at Edgbaston Stadium