Having won the previous two World T20's in style, Australia women would like to get their hands on a hat-trick of titles in Bangladesh, after going through to the final following an eight-run victory over the West Indies in Dhaka.
Deandra Dottin scored a powerful 35-ball 40, before getting out in an inopportune moment that eventually swayed the game in Australia's favour. Erin Osborne was the crucial factor in Australia's semifinal win, taking the crucial catch to dismiss Dottin, while also ending a big alliance between opener Kycia Knight and Stafanie Taylor by picking up the wicket of the former. West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira was quick to point out that the two wickets of Dottin and Taylor might have well cost them the match.
"I think both dismissals were crucial," Aguilleira said. "They are the two main batters in the team. It was really pleasing to see other individuals stepping up to the plate. We had [Stacy-Ann] King and Dottin batting, and they looked good but it was hard to see her getting out.
"Coming in here, we knew we were playing the world champions. They weren't going to give up their position just like that. Australia are in the top of the table, and we are in a stage of development. I think the improvement from my team is good.
"I think they got 20 runs too many. Most of the time, we've been in positions from strength only to lose from there. That's an area we need to look at."
Meanwhile, Osborne was delighted to be able to chip in to help her team reach the final. "She's [Dottin] one of the cleanest hitters of our game, so to get the catch in the end was particularly satisfying. Maybe if this was Sylhet [where the women's group games were played], it would have landed beyond the ropes," Osborne laughed talking about the Dottin catch.
"Going in to bowl, we thought maybe it was a bit under par because we were going for 150 to 160. Our bowling has had a tough time in the lead-up to this game, but it all came together."
Osborne was also thankful to have the assistance of Lisa Sthalekar, the former Australian player in the support staff, who has joined the team as a spin consultant. "I'm grateful to have her around," Osborne added. "I've had my own battles leading up to the tournament, to have her and go through everything has definitely helped me and the team. The batters too have benefitted from facing her in the nets."
The usual opener for the Aussies, Alyssa Healy came in only at no. 7 in the semifinal, as a strategy to build on the score in the later overs of the game. Her 30 off 21 helped Australia put up a defendable 140 on the board. "Her knock was absolutely crucial for us," Osborne said. "She was outstanding. Obviously, we felt she could play a role lower down the order and it worked perfectly for us."
Australia will play the winner between England and South Africa, who play their semifinal on Friday, in the final in Dhaka on Sunday.