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Keightley, Clark put Australia in final

Published: Thursday, December 7, 2000, 17:00 [IST]
 
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Christchurch: Man-of-the-match for the second consecutive time, opener Lisa Keightley put herself in a strong contention for the man-of-the-series award too as defending champions Australia scored an emphatic nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the first semi-final of the Women's World Cup 2000 at the BIL Oval on Monday.Australian captain Belinda Clark won the toss and sent South African in to bat. The South Africans were off to a slow start with openers Linda Olivier and Hanri Strydom adding 38 runs for the first wicket in 14.1 overs. Linda and Anina Burger were then involved in a 36-run partnership for the third wicket. South Africa lost a few quick wickets to be reduced to 107 for five at the end of the 37th over. Sunnette Viljeon and Alison Hodgkinson then added 57 runs for the sixth wicket to add some respectability to the total. South Africa completed their quota of 50 overs on a fairly decent 180 for eight. Linda was the top scorer on 41 runs from 101 balls with four boundaries.The Australians were off to a flying start with Belinda and Lisa adding 170 runs for the first wicket in just 26.2 overs. Both the players rotated the strike superbly and kept the scoreboard ticking at a fast pace. Belinda was out for 75 from 79 balls with eight fours. Lisa, who had also remained unbeaten the previous match against The Netherlands, was unbeaten on 91 off 97 balls with 13 hits to the fence. Australia raced away to 181 for one in 31.2 overs and looked as strong contenders to retain the title that they won in India in 1997. None of the South African bowlers made any impression on the Australian top order batting.Australia await the winners of the India versus hosts New Zealand match in the final. The second semi-final is scheduled for December 20, while the final is slated to be played on December 23.

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