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ICC Women's World Cup: Australia beat South Africa.

Australia will face India in the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after beating South Africa by 59 runs in their final league game at Taunton to finish second in the eight-team league.

Beth Mooney, Nicole Bolton and Ellyse Perry all struck half-centuries for the Southern Stars with Sune Luus taking five wickets as Australia were all out for 269 in 48.3 overs.

Laura Wolvaardt struck 71 for South Africa but her team was bowled out for 210 as stand-in skipper Rachael Haynes took two for 12 and Perry and Jess Jonassen also grabbed two wickets each. South Africa, who finish fourth, next play league-topping England.

Jonassen, who finished with two for 40 from her 10 overs, said: “It was a nice hit out but we left a few runs out there. It was pleasing though with the ball to bowl them out for 210 in the end.

“We started a little bit off with the ball and strayed a bit with our lines early but the pleasing thing was how we brought it back in the middle overs and got crucial wickets at crucial times. We try and take it one game at a time and take each game in isolation, going into the semi-final that’ll be no different whoever we come up against.”

Haynes, in for the injured Meg Lanning, won the toss and elected to bat with Mooney and Nicole Bolton smashing their second century partnership of the tournament.

Bolton brought up her half-century first with Mooney following her to the landmark just two overs later.

Ayabonga Khaka eventually bowled Mooney with the score on 114 with Haynes dismissed shortly after for a duck followed by Bolton (79) and Elyse Villiani for a golden duck.

Perry rescued the innings with a fluent 55, her fifth consecutive half-century in the World Cup, but Australia lost their final six wickets for just 34 runs with Luus picking up a five-wicket haul.

Dane Van Niekerk and Karizanne Kapp both grabbed a pair of wickets as Australia were dismissed for 269 in the penultimate over.

After losing Lizelle Lee early, Wolvaardt and Trisha Chetty built steadily with the former bringing up her half-century with a push to deep cover off the bowling of Kristen Beams.

Captain Haynes then dismissed Mignon Du Preez (20) and Wolvaardt in identical fashion in consecutive overs as both batters were caught at deep midwicket by Ashleigh Gardner.

Kapp (19), Van Niekerk (1), Luus (6) and Khaka (0) all fell in the space of three overs as South Africa collapsed from 162-4 to 165-8 in the latter stages and the Proteas were eventually all out in the final over.

Luus said: “It’s always great to get five wickets in a World Cup, especially against a team like Australia, a five-for is really special no matter how it comes.

“It was a great performance by the team unfortunately we didn’t win, we’ll keep that for the semi-finals. I think it’s a first for us (reaching the semis) and the girls are very excited to go back to Bristol.

“We’re very excited to play England, hopefully we’ll get the win to get through to the final.”

LIVE UPDATES

Australia have beaten South Africa by 59 runs.

16.52- Wicket and game over as Ismail is caught at deep mid on by Villani for 26 off Schutt and South Africa are all out for 210.

16.44- Two overs left and South Africa have moved onto 195/9.

16.34- Wicket as Klass is bowled by Beams for 9- 184/9 off 45.2

16.33- 45 overs gone and South Africa are 183/8

16.11- Wicket- Khaka LBW Perry 0 and South Africa are 165/8 off 38.2 overs.

16.09- Wicket- Luus is bowled by Perry for 8 making the score 164/7 off 38.1 overs.

16.06- Wicket – Van Niekerk is bowled by Jonassen for 1 and South Africa 164/6 off 37.3.

16.01- Wicket- Kapp run out by a direct throw on the stumps by Blackwell for 19 and South Africa are 162/5 off 30.1 0vers. Game looking to be heading towards Australia now.

15.52- 159/4 off 34 overs and South Africa need another 120 off the final 16 overs, which is looking a tall order.

15.48- Wicket- Another great catch at deep mid wicket by Gardner off Haynes sees the end of opener Laura Wolvaardt for 71 off 94 balls- 149/4 off 32.6 overs.

15.40- Wicket- Du Preez is out well caught at deep mid wicket by Ashleigh Gardner off the bowling of Haynes for 20- 132/3 in 31st over.

15.38- 30 overs now gone and South Africa are 132/2. At the same stage of the game Australia wee 159/4.

15.25 – 25 overs and South Africa are 112/2 at the halfway stage of the run chase.

15.14- Wicket- Smart fielding by Australia leads to Chetty being run out for 37, and South Africa are 99/2 still needing 171 to win off 30 overs.

15.07- 20 overs gone- 93/1 and going well.

14.55- 14 overs now gone and South Africa have moved onto 68 /1- if they stay at this rate then we are in for a close finish.

14.36- 50 up off 9.5 overs.

14.21- Wicket- Lizelle Lee is out, well caught at mid off by Haynes off Jonassen and South Africa are 32 /1.

14.19- South Africa have taken their score onto 24 without loss after 5 overs.

14.09- We are underway here again in Taunton and chasing a target of 270 South Africa have moved onto 10 without loss after 2 overs.

Australia all out for 269

13.34- Wicket- Schutt strikes again Beams LBW by Kapp and Australia are all out for 269.

13.33- Wicket- Megan Schutt is bowled by Marizanne Kapp for 11- Austrial not 269/9.

13.29- Luus completes her 10 over spell with five for 67- an impressive bowling performance backed up by some good catches.

13.23- Wicket- Gardner caught in the deep by Daniels off Luus for 4 making Australia 254/8 off 44.3 overs.

13.18- Wicket- Healy goes for a big one and is caught just inside the long on boundary by Moseline Daniels off Luus- Australia are now 250/7 in 44th over.

13.14- Wicket- Alex Blackwell caught off bowling of Niekerk for 36- Australia 235/6 off 41.6 overs

13.08- Wicket- Another wicket for Luus as she has Perry caught for 55 off 58 balls making Australia 229/5.

13.07- 10 overs left and Australia have taken their score onto 229/4.

13.03- Perry 50 up off 51 balls with six 4s and one 6- great attacking knock from the Australian.

12.56- Australia 200 up off the last ball of the 37th over.

12.46- Six! Ellyse Perry hits the first maximum of the game when she lifts Luus back over her head and over the ropes in front of the Somerset Pavilion End to a loud cheer from the crowd.

12.39- 33 overs gone and Australia have moved onto 169/4.

12.31- Australia have moved onto 159/4 off 30 overs.

12.27- Wicket- Luus strikes again with her next ball as she bowls Elyse Villani trying to sweep- 154/4 off 28.6. Hat trick chance coming up off first ball of her next over!

12.25- Wicket- Bolton goes for 79 caught at mid off from the bowling of Sune Luus who has just come into the attack at Somerset Pavilion End, making Australia 154/3 off 28.5 overs.

12.21- 150 up off 27.3 overs for Australia.

12.04- Wicket- Rachael Haynes is caught and bowled by Dane Van Nierkerk the leading wicket takes in the tournament- 119/2.

11.58- Wicket- Mooney is out for 53 off 58 balls bowled by AyaBonga Khaka making Australia 114/1 after 21.3 overs.

11.51- 50 up for Mooney off 52 balls as the score goes onto 109/0

11.48- 100 up for Australia off 18.3 overs. The openers are both going well so we could be in for a good score here today at Taunton.

11.44- Bolton hits a boundary through mid wicket to go to her 50 off 61 balls- another good innings for the opener.

11.43- Light rain starting to fall and the umpires have met but at present the game is carrying on.

11.30- After 15 overs Australia have taken their score onto 65 without loss Bolton now on 35 off 50 balls while Mooney is not out 28 off 41 deliveries. Neither batsmen look at all troubled by the South African bowlers.

11.10- 10 overs gone and Australia have moved onto 40/0- Nicole Bolton unbeaten on 20 and Beth Mooney not out 18.

MATCH PREVIEW

South Africa Captain Dane van Niekerk wants her side to target a fast start in their final round-robin match of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 against Australia at Taunton.

The Proteas have already qualified for the semi-final stages with a game to play but will be hoping to gain a psychological advantage over their opposition today (Saturday) in case they meet in the last four.

The side to top the eight-team league will play the fourth-placed side in the first semi-final in Bristol on July 18th whilst the sides finishing second and third will feature in the second semi-final in Derby on July 20th.

Van Niekerk’s side lost by 103 runs when the two sides met in a World Cup warm-up match at Oakham School and the skipper has identified where improvements can be made. “We generally start really well, get two or three wickets up front, and that is crucial because we know how good the Australia top order is,” she said. “We then let it go a little bit in the middle, so we’ll definitely sit and work out how we can utilise the middle overs a lot better.

“They do bat deep, so obviously we need to sort that out, but we’re really excited – it’s always good to play against the best in the world. The girls are training really hard, their hearts are in it and they want to be here until the end, so we’ll just try and control what we can control.”

Reigning champions Australia will top the standings if they get a better result than England, who face the West Indies.

Australia won their opening four matches before defeat to the hosts but bounced back well with an eight-wicket win over India last time out and captain Meg Lanning is wary of the threat South Africa may pose at the County Ground in Taunton.

“We’ll certainly be going into the game against South Africa to win and play well, she said. “They’re a very dangerous side who have had some really good games throughout the World Cup. It will be a really good test for us to continue to improve on our game, and hopefully we can get the result we want before moving onto the semis.

“We want to keep on playing aggressive cricket and take the points. Their opening bowlers, in Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp in particular, are very dangerous and we’ve seen how strong their batting line-up is with Lizelle Lee up the top and Dane van Niekerk has been in good form too. They have a lot of match winners in there so we’ll have to play well.”

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