MORTLAKE export Georgia Wareham has spun Australia into the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
The 20 year-old made her way into the Southern Stars first XI for the third pool game of the tournament against Bangladesh after sitting out Australia’s opening loss to India and its narrow victory over Sri Lanka.
The leg-spinner claimed three crucial wickets in her side’s must-win final match of the group stage against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at Junction Oval on Monday.
Wareham repayed the faith shown in her by coach Matthew Mott by delivering a player of the match performance, finishing with figures of 3/17 from four overs.
The Southern Stars batted first and posted 5/155 from its 20 overs led by a knock of 60 from opener Beth Mooney.
In reply, New Zealand looked in control when Wareham was thrown the ball for the eighth over with her side in need of a breakthrough after the White Ferns had reached the half century for the loss of just one wicket.
She had an immediate impact, dismissing tournament leading run scorer Suzie Bates leg before wicket after Australia sought a review.
Bates was originally given not out before the third umpire overturned the decision.
At the start of her third over, Wareham’s next scalp was New Zealand captain Sophie Devine, who was beaten before wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy completed the stumping.
Her final wicket came in similar circumstances, with Healy again putting the finishing touches on some superb bowling.
Opening bowler Megan Schutt returned to the attack during the closing overs and took care of the White Ferns’ middle order as Australia went on to win by four runs.
Australia will now meet South Africa in the semi-finals tonight at the Sydney Cricket Ground after the Proteas finished top of the opposing pool.
South Africa was unbeaten in its three pool matches played, with their fourth and final game abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The winner will advance to Sunday’s final where they are set to face either India or England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.