England stun Australia with astonishing comeback to reach World Cup final
Toss: England won the toss and chose to bat first
Result: England won by 3 runs
A remarkable late finish saw Australia get to within one boundary of sealing their spot in the World Cup final.
But England captain Grace Scrivens snatched the win from Australia's grasp with a plumb lbw to bag the tenth wicket, completing a superb team bowling performance.
Top-order wickets tumbled at the start of the match as England slipped to 45/7 inside the first ten overs, with Ella Hayward taking two scalps in the sixth over and Sianna Ginger bagging a brace in the ninth.
The departure of the dangerous Scrivens for a run-a-ball 20 seemed to set things decisively in Australia’s favour, but the English tail wagged to drag them up to enough of a score to keep the game alive.
A decent partnership between Alexa Stonehouse (25) and Josie Groves (15) gave the English a chance, with the final wicket falling with just one ball remaining and the score on 99.
Ginger, Hayward and Maggie Clark all finished with three wickets apiece, as Australia severely limited a previously powerful English batting line-up.
Two early wickets in the chase set the game up beautifully, as Ellie Anderson had Kate Pelle out caught in the first over, and Alexa Stonehouse held on to a return catch to dismiss Ginger in the second over.
But Australia’s steady recovery seemed to have them on the way to a relatively comfortable win, with Claire Moore (20), Hayward (16) and Amy Smith (26) putting a decent dent in the target.
However, England’s bowlers had other ideas, and a run of three wickets in seven balls left Australia reeling at 59/7 and with plenty of work still to do.
Smith, Emma Wilson and Milly Illingworth eased Australia to within single figures of the target, but a brilliant run-out by Ryana Macdonald-Gay left the Aussies with just one wicket remaining and four runs still required.
And, after a nervous stretch of seven consecutive dot balls, captain Scrivens struck to spark jubilant scenes from the English fielders.
Scrivens finished with 2/8 from 3.4 overs, while Hannah Baker’s outstanding 3/10 from four overs was the pick of the rest in a superb team bowling performance.
England will now face India in Sunday’s final.