Australia make 134-5 in T20 World Cup semi against South Africa

Sydney (AFP) –


Skipper Meg Lanning hit a battling unbeaten 49 as defending champions Australia compiled 134 for five in their women's Twenty20 World Cup semi-final against South Africa on Thursday.

The Proteas won the toss and put Australia, who are targeting a fifth world title, into bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground after rain that soaked the city all day finally cleared.

The winner will play India, who reached their first final after their clash against England was washed out earlier in the day.

Starting almost half an hour late, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy aggressively set about building a big total.

Healy was dropped in the fourth over by wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty after smacking two successive fours from Nonkululeko Mlaba.

But she didn't make the most of her second life, falling in the next after a quickfire 18 off 13 balls, caught at mid-wicket in miscuing a Ayabonga Khaka delivery.

In-form fellow opener Mooney blasted 28 and looked in fine fettle until she was clean-bowled by Nadine de Klerk.

South Africa successfully put the brakes on the run rate with Jess Jonassen gone after three balls as Australia reached 70 for three at the halfway mark.

Ashleigh Gardner then went without scoring to de Klerk, getting an outside edge as the mini collapse continued.

Rachael Haynes made a battling 17 in a 32-run stand with Lanning before she too departed to de Klerk, who ended with 3-19.

Lanning was left to carry her team to a respectable total.

South Africa have never made the final before, and have never beaten top-ranked Australia in any format in the women's game.