Alyssa Healy whacks her second half century of the tournament.
Alyssa Healy whacks her second half century of the tournament.

Stars set to explode against India

AUSTRALIA'S guaranteed World T20 semi-final spot gives it a licence to attack its final group game against India on Sunday morning (AEST) as it fights for top seeding.

Gun opener Alyssa Healy collected her third player of the match award in as many games after steering the Aussies to a 33-run win over danger team New Zealand.

Healy's 53 off 38 balls was the backbone of Australia's 7-153 while pace bowler Megan Schutt took 3-12 off three overs.

With 157 runs at an average of 78.5, Healy is the tournament's leading batter.

Australia will play the second-placed team from Group A in its semi-final if it secures top spot in Group B with victory over unbeaten India on Sunday.

But first or second, it will face a serous opponent with England and the West Indies heading the charge 850km away on Saint Lucia for semi-finals slots.

Alyssa Healy led the way for Australia.
Alyssa Healy led the way for Australia.

"It just gives us freedom to play the cricket that we want to and that we really want to go into the final producing," Schutt said of the win over New Zealand.

"It's great to be locked into the semi-final but we won't be taking the next game lightly."

The Aussie attacked ripped through the Kiwis, taking three wickets in the first three overs as New Zealand slumped to 3-13.

A fightback led by Adelaide Strikers gun Susie Bates almost thwarted Australia's quest for a third straight win.

Bates was dropped by Healy on 27 in the 10th over; she eventually made 48 off 44 balls before falling lbw to Ashleigh Gardner's off-spin.

"I think it was a really good challenge for us and something that we probably needed," Schutt said.

"It's moments like that where you just need to take a deep breath and I think that's what we did out there.

Ellyse Perry shows off her wonderful action.
Ellyse Perry shows off her wonderful action.

"Probably we would have panicked, 12-18 months ago, but it's something we've worked on and it was nice to see it out there today."

Schutt responded with figures of 3-12 off three overs after a self-confessed "bad day" against battlers Ireland in the previous game where she gave up 30 runs for one wicket.

"After the five wides at the start I was a little bit worried it could have been a bad day again," she said.

"Two bad games in a row would have been absolutely horrible for me so nice to bounce back."

Australia now has three days off before the game against India.

"I think a break is always crucial in a tournament like this, to rest the brain from cricket," she said.

"It couldn't have come at a better time."

India plays Ireland early on Friday morning (AEDT) ahead of its top-of-the-table showdown with Australia.

News Corp Australia


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