England stayed on course to become double world champions after Claire Taylor's brilliant half-century guided them into the World Twenty20 final.
England stayed on course to become double world champions after Claire Taylor's brilliant half-century secured victory over Australia and guided them into the World Twenty20 final.
Player-of-the-match Taylor hit an unbeaten 76 and shared a decisive stand with Beth Morgan to help the tournament favourites, who won the 50-over World Cup down under earlier this year, clinch an eight-wicket win at The Oval and set up a final showdown with New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday.
Chasing Australia's impressive total of 163 for five, the second-highest score of the tournament, England struggled to maintain the same scoring rate and slumped to 43 for two after seven overs.
But Taylor teamed up with Morgan in a 122-run stand off 79 balls to steer England home with three deliveries to spare on the ground where England's men crashed out of the tournament with defeat against West Indies.
Having won the toss and decided to bowl first, England struggled to make early inroads with Shelley Nitschke and Leah Poulton forging a 78-run opening stand stand off only 56 balls.
Australia's two openers fell in successive balls and although captain Karen Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar forged a 78-run partnership off 56 balls, they lost three wickets in the final three overs to deny them useful runs.
England struggled in reply with Sarah Taylor clipping to short mid-wicket in the third over and Charlotte Edwards edging behind in the seventh to leave them facing elimination from the tournament.
But Taylor hit eight fours in her 53-ball innings while Morgan finished unbeaten on 46 off 34 balls to keep alive England's hopes of becoming double world champions.
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