That will be all for the live blog: Australia prevailed in an epic semi-final, beating India by just five runs to book their place in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 final. Australia will now defend their title at Newlands on Sunday against either their old foe England or hosts South Africa. For India, like Harmanpreet Kaur said, a case of finding out how long it will take to get over another heartbreak. One of their own making, one that will be incredibly painful, one that will make them feel they were so near yet so far.

TOSS: Meg Lanning opted to bat, India made three changes while Aussies made two. Harmanpreet Kaur was fit to play.

First innings: Australia 172/4 (20 overs) with Beth Mooney scoring a half century and Meg Lanning scoring 49.

Second innings: India 167/8 (20 overs) with Harmanpreet Kaur scoring a half century. 

Player of the match: Ash Gardner, 31 (18) & 2/37

Post-match press conference: Player of the match Ash Gardner, full of praise for Ellyse Perry’s boundary fielding at the end, saying she almost herself saved six runs or so.

Post-match press conference: “Ek hangover mein baithi hoon. Once I go back to the room, maybe I will know how many days it will take to get over this,” says Harmanpreet Kaur towards the end of the press conference as tears start flowing. Composes herself, answers a final question before leaving the room. The entire press conference was a combination of wry smiles and rueful thoughts, especially about her run out.

Post-match thoughts: Batting is not where India lost the match (can surely improve a lot of things, no doubt). Scoring 167 versus Australia in the World Cup semifinal is solid. Match was lost in the first half. And just how good are Australia to win when they are not even that good on the day.

Australian win by 5 runs: That wasn’t a 9-run defeat but that will (or must) hurt India so much. A defeat of their own making. Not taking their chances, mistakes at crucial times with the bat, and then Australia’s stupendous fielding...

India need 11 off 2 balls: WICKET! 19.4: Radha Yadav 0(1) ct Ellyse Perry b Ashleigh Gardner Seemed like a decent hit but out caught. India 162/8

India need 11 off 3 balls: Just a single and Deepti is off strike.

India need 12 off 4 balls: A couple of doubles to start that final over. Another boundary saved.

WICKET! 18.6: Sneh Rana 11(10) b Jess Jonassen After a stunning piece of work from Perry to stop a four and even three, Rana is bowled. That right there is the difference. India 157/7

Jonassen with the all-important 19th over.

India 153/6 (18 overs): That four by Rana helps things but Australia will still fancy this.

150 comes up: With a sweep for four, Rana releases some pressure. What a position she is in, all of a sudden.

India 142/6 (17 overs): A four for Deepti through midwicket but still a good over for Australia from Gardner. India are now, I’d say, chasing the extra runs they perhaps gave up with their sloppiness on the field.

38 needed off 24 balls and Australia are favourites (always were?)

WICKET! 15.6: Richa Ghosh 14(17) ct Tahlia McGrath b Darcie Brown Who is running CWG reruns here? Speak up! What a wicket for Australia. Richa struggled for timing today and she finds the fielder in the deep. India 135/6

WICKET! 14.4: Harmanpreet Kaur 52(34) Run Out Ashleigh Gardner Oh no. That is beyond frustrating. After two superb overs to start that over, Harmanpreet is run out as her bat gets stuck on the ground. She is so angry, but walks off with a calm word to Deepti. India 133/5

FIFTY for Harmanpreet Kaur: The India captain gets there in 32 balls. What. A. Knock!

India 124/4 (14 overs): Another dropped catch in that over and India make the most of it! Healy misses a thin edge, could have even hit the stumps. Kaur finishes the over with a lovely shot over point, Ghosh with a lofted shot over cover too.

India 111/4 (13 overs): DROPPED! Healy with a return gift to the many India provided for Australia today. Kaur goes across the line, edge dropped by the keeper.

The win predictor in that over says Australia are about 65% and they are actually playing that. Any other team, you could say the fielding team is under pressure here but doesn’t feel that way one bit for Australia. Going about things calmly.

India 107/4 (12 overs): Megan Schutt gives nine runs in that over without India scoring a boundary. Nice one for India but Ghosh nearly lofted one to mid-off.

India 98/4 (11 overs): Maybe India could have held Ghosh back a bit here? The scoring rate not an issue but losing her here could be a big blow. Let’s see anyway. She joins Kaur.

WICKET! 10.2: Jemimah Rodrigues 43(24) ct Alyssa Healy b Darcie Brown Oh no, what a horrific way to get out after a great innings. Brown digs one in short, it is going WAY OVER Rodrigues’ head and is a wide. But the batter tries to ramp it over the keeper but just edges it. She is so frustrated. India 97/4

India 93/3 (10 overs): Masterful use of the spin by Jemimah, targetting the cover region off Wareham to hit two lofted fours. That’s Mumbai cricket for you. What a recovery from India but Australia have a chance to gather their thoughts now. They will know they can still get this back.

India 74/3 (8 overs): More good rotation of strike, 6 runs in the Jonassen over. India keeping a decent scoring rate still. 93 needed off 66 balls.

India 74/3 (8 overs): The point Mithali made was when Harman picked the length and line early from Schutt and played a fine sweep. Great reading, really. Another good over for India. Australia must start feeling the pressure soon, but will also know they need just a couple of more wickets.

Interesting point from Mithali Raj on air (not verbatim): Playing the WBBL has helped Harmanpreet really decode Australian bowling. Whenever she plays them, she is able to find the boundaries when required.

India 66/3 (7 overs): Tidy over for India coming out of the powerplay, six singles. Two better runners between the wicket here

India 59/3 (6 overs): Two very contrasting powerplays. Harmanpreet Kaur, with the full force of her batswing, hits a super six off Jonassen. India scoring at nearly 10.

Well, well, well.

India 47/3 (5 overs): That is perhaps the best few minutes of play India have had entire day so far. A four in that 4th over by Harmanpreet and then an expensive Ellyse Perry first over. Rodrigues put away a free hit for four. Decent scoring rate here for India.

WICKET! 3.4: Yastika Bhatia 4(7) Run Out Grace Harris/Alyssa Healy Chaos. Just chaos. Poor batting firstly from Yastika to pile up the pressure with dot balls and then she tries get off strike and is caught in the middle of the pitch. India 28/3

India 25/2 (3 overs): This couldn’t possibly have been worse for India but a little bit to cheer as Rodrigues scores a couple of fours either side square of the wicket.

WICKET! 2.2: Smriti Mandhana 2(5) lbw Ashleigh Gardner Oh what a nightmare start for India. This is a brilliant review by Australia, they think the ball brushed the pad before bat as Mandhana went on the back foot. And they are right. Decision overturned, the matchup with Mandhana vs Gardner pays off India 15/2

WICKET! 1.3: Shafali Verma 9(6) lbw Megan Schutt Think Shafali can consider herself hard done by there. On field, that didn’t like it was out, given the angle Schutt operates with but the umpire’s late call to give out is critical. The ball just clips leg stump. Forgettable day for Shafali. India 11/1

India 10/0 (1 over): Good start for India. Firstly, better rotation of strike than we have seen recently. And more importantly, good timing from Shafali to place a sweep shot well for four.

Shafali and Smriti in the middle. Australia start with Gardner, to combat Mandhana early.

Australia 172/4 (20 overs): India will need 173 to win this and reach final. Can they?

Can Indian women add to this?

Score Opposition Ground Start Date
177/3 v AUS  Melbourne 8 Feb 2020
168/3 v SA  Potchefstroom 13 Feb 2018
151/3 v PAK  Cape Town 12 Feb 2023
150/5 v ENG  Canberra 31 Jan 2020
146/2 v ENG  Derby 13 Sep 2022

Australia 172/4 (20 overs): Should not judge the pitch before both teams bat, goes the cricketing adage. But that surely did not feel like a 170 pitch. I’d say Australia have definitely gone well above par. India need to come up with a near perfect chase.

Australia 172/4 (20 overs): A HUGE LAST OVER. Renuka Thakur with a full toss to start and finish the final over, and two big sixes over the square leg. Gifts galore for Lanning today and she has gleefully accepted them. Too classy a batter to miss out.

And Lanning still finishes with 49 off 34 balls.

Australia 154/4 (19 overs): A superb shot by Lanning for four through the offside and Pandey finishes with 4-0-32-2.

WICKET! 18.3: Grace Harris 7(4) b Shikha Pandey Change of pace does the trick. Harris hits a four in that over, bowled then by a slower one by Pandey who has a good outing today. That does save a few runs for India... in comes Perry. Australia 148/4

WICKET! 17.5: Ashleigh Gardner 31(18) b Deepti Sharma Deepti with an important wicket (maybe not, because Grace Harris walks in but well). Yorker length, good delivery. Australia 141/3

Australia 137/2 (17 overs): CHANCE MISSED! Gardner, who starts the over with two superb fours off Renuka, should have been run out last ball after a mix up. But the throw from Rodrigues is to the wrong end and she survives. (Might add a few more runs to AUS Total)

Australia 126/2 (16 overs): This is another expensive over to finish a spell. Radha has bowled alright today but she will finish with 1/35. Two fours for Gardner who is on the charge. A top edge falls safely.

Australia 114/2 (15 overs): Two big overs for Australia and the intensity from India on the field not great again. A huge over off Rana especially, who must be feeling ‘why me’ as Lanning hits two fours. Three fours in that Sneh Rana over. Meg Lanning and Ash Gardner get the momentum they were looking for as Australia head into the last five overs of their innings.

Australia 94/2 (13 overs): CHANCE MISSED! Richa Ghosh is having a forgettable day. Lanning beaten by Rana, Ghosh doesn’t cleanly gather and she gets back into the crease.

WICKET! 11.5: Beth Mooney 54(37) ct Shafali Verma b Shikha Pandey Shafali with an angry reaction after taking a catch but that is quite bizarre, given the damage has been done. Mooney with a couple of fours in that over, reaches her half century. Her job is more than done. Australia 88/2

Australia 78/1 (11 overs): All class, says Mithali on air as Mooney lofts one inside out for four. India are paying for the drop already.

Australia 69/1 (10 overs): DROPPED! U19 World Cup winners dropping the senior World Cup for India? That is just so poor from Shafali, no other way to put it. Mooney hits one STRAIGHT to her at long on and it is just not good enough at this level. Mooney, that too. Yadhav should have had a wicket.

Australia 59/1 (9 overs): DROPPED! Richa Ghosh can’t hold on to a chance as Lanning gets a thick outside edge. The deflection was quite heavy to be honest, those have to just stick. It didn’t for India. Another misfield in that over, a no ball too, and the free hit is not punished.

Australia 54/1 (8 overs): This is definitely a slow pitch. Mooney did so well in that over to put pace on the ball in that over too. This doesn’t look to be be a 54 after 8 overs pitch.

WICKET! 7.3: Alyssa Healy 25(26) st Richa Ghosh b Radha Yadav Ah, that Radha-Alyssa rivalry. The Aussie opener dances down the track but there is no pace on offer, she is slowly beaten and she is stumped. Australia 52/1

Australia 47/0 (7 overs): The pitch seems to be definitely stopping a bit. The ball is not coming all that well on to the bat and the Aussie openers are having to force the pace. But still no pressure from India. Decent over from Pandey but Australia won’t mind this.

Australia 43/0 (6 overs): They didn’t go all guns blazing but that is a solid powerplay for the champions and given their depth, this is worrying already for an Indian bowling unit that has struggled in the middle and death. A six for Mooney in that over.

India lose a review: Appeal against Healy for LBW, but that is gloved.

Deepti to bowl her third in the powerplay.

Australia 31/0 (5 overs): A little bit of pressure on Australia here? Couple of dot balls to finish a good over from Pandey. Great fielding by Rodrigues in the deep to prevent a four and keep the lid on.

Bishop says the overhead conditions have prevented the ball from moving even a little bit.

Shikha Pandey into bowl the 5th over. Wonder if the ball can still move.

Australia 26/0 (4 overs): A rank short ball outside off stump, and Healy starts another over with a four. The ball seemed to stick almost in Deepti’s palm there but she bounces back well. SLightly more loop and control rest of the over. Even if flat, it is not too short.

Australia 21/0 (3 overs): Another four to start the over for Healy, lofted over mid on off Renuka. This is a worrying start from India.

Why not give Shikha Pandey the new ball and see if she can move it? Surely worth a go early. She bowled later when Vastrakar was also in. Not sure we get this. Renuka will continue.

Australia 14/0 (2 overs): A decent over from Deepti Sharma, with four singles, spoiled by a four off the last ball. With deep fielders in the offside, she bowled short and wide. And the last ball, Mooney not missing out, cutting finer for four.

Australia 6/0 (1 over): After that nervy full ball from Renuka, she bounces back well in the over. A misfield at mid-on by Shafali, has become somewhat of a familiar sight. Not much movement on offer but good lines with the angle into Healy.

A first-ball four for Healy and I am sure many Indian fans had flashbacks to 2020.

Matches played India Australia Tied NR
ICC Women's T20 World Cup 5 2 3 0 0
Overall 30 6 22 1 1

6.30 pm: The in-form Renuka Singh Thakur has the new ball in hand. Australia’s Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy are at the crease. Here we go!

National anthems done. Harmanpreet in the huddle and we are all set.

An interesting point this. The other option would have been to play Anjali Sarvani, but a World Cup debut on such a big occasion would have been too big a risk? Probably a point to wonder if Vastrakar was fit.

The Alyssa Healy challenge for India:

  • Alyssa Healy is the leading run-scorer for Australia in this edition (Runs: 146, Avg: 73, 50s: 2). Healy has remained unbeaten in the opening six overs (powerplay) on all three occasions and possesses an excellent strike-rate of 139.6 in this phase. She also has significant head-to-head records against India (Runs: 464, SR: 141.9) and will look to provide the needed impetus at the top.

— Sportradar

Renuka Singh Thakur / Shikha Pandey and Alyssa Healy right away. Could be a decisive early battle.

  • Renuka Thakur has been the pick of the Indian bowlers in the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup (Wkts: 7, SR: 5.5). With 64.5% of her T20I career wickets coming in the powerplay at an outstanding economy of 5.2, the right-arm pacer makes it very difficult to take on the swinging new ball. Thakur has dismissed Healy four times in a total of 33 deliveries in T20Is, and it will be enthralling to see if she follows suit or Healy triumphs this time, with both in peak form.

— Sportradar

Playing XIs

Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ash Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Georgia Wareham, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown 

India XI: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia, Sneh Rana, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh

TEAM NEWS: Australia have Alyssa Healy fit and ready to go too, while Jess Jonassen comes in for Alana King.

TEAM NEWS: A few changes still for India but not in leadership. Yastika Bhatia, Sneh Rana (Straight in to the XI), Radha Yadav are playing; Devika Vaidya, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad miss out.

TOSS: Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. Harmanpreet Kaur says she had a fever but is fine now

Derby 2017, anyone?

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup where India take on Australia in the semi-final.

As if the occasion is not big enough, there has been so much to talk about today as we look ahead to the blockbuster semifinal between India and Australia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Is Harmanpreet Kaur fit? Will Sneh Rana, brought in to the squad to replace Pooja Vastrakar, play right away? Can Australia be stopped?

So many questions, and the answers will start unravelling soon. And, honestly, we can’t wait because if the two teams can live up to some of their recent contests, we should be in for a thriller.

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Disney+Hotstar and ICC match center

With stats, photos and text inputs from ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.