Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/10/southern-stars-qualify-for-final

Southern Stars qualify for final

UPDATED 13 February, 2013 11:58AM AEST | by Omnisport 5

The Southern Stars booked their place in the final of the ICC Women's World Cup with an easy nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday.

After dismissing Sri Lanka for 131, Australia cruised to their victory target in the 23rd over and for the loss of just one wicket.

The win maintains the Southern Stars' unbeaten status at the tournament and ensures they will feature in the final on February 17.

Prior to the final, the Southern Stars take on the West Indies on Wednesday in their last Super Sixes encounter.

The West Indies are in contention to play Australia in the final, but New Zealand and England are also possible combatants.

Despite losing Ellyse Perry to an ankle injury prior to the Sri Lanka match, the Southern Stars made an excellent start to the contest after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.

Megan Schutt (2-34) and Julie Hunter (1-6) caused the Sri Lankan top order plenty of problems and when Holly Ferling (1-23) and Lisa Sthalekar (2-26) chipped in, Sri Lanka were reduced to 4-41 in the 16th over.

Deepika Rasangika (43) and Dilani Manodara (21) combined in the middle overs with a partnership of 49, but wickets continued to fall and Sri Lanka were all out in the 46th over as Erin Osborne ended up with tremendous figures of 3-9 from her 10 overs.

In reply, the Southern Stars were never threatened as Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes scored freely at the top of the order to take their side within reach of the victory target.

Sripali Weerakkody (1-21) got rid of Lanning for 37, but Jess Cameron (22 not out) joined Haynes (71 not out) to ensure the Southern Stars eased past the modest Sri Lankan target.

Meanwhile, England crushed South Africa by seven wickets on Sunday to boost their chances of defending their World Cup title.

Anya Shrubsole took 5-17 as South Africa were bundled out for 77 in the 30th over and in reply England went about chasing the runs down as quickly as possible to boost their net run rate.

They lost Charlotte Edwards (six), Danielle Wyatt (14) and Sarah Taylor for a duck, but Lydia Greenway (25 not out) and Arran Brindle (25 not out) combined to reach the victory target in the 10th over.

England need to defeat New Zealand in their final Super Sixes match on Wednesday to stand any chance of reaching the final, but will have a close eye on Monday's clash between the Kiwis and the West Indies as it will determine what else needs to occur for them to be able to defend their title.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 10 February, 2013 8:34PM AEST

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