Tahlia McGrath’s blistering 57 propelled Australia to a commanding win over South Africa by six wickets in an evening encounter at Gqeberha to seal their place in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup.
In pursuit of 125 runs, Australia were in a spot in a bother by the end of the seventh over as they lost Beth Mooney with the score reading 40 for the loss of three wickets.
However, MsGrath consolidated the innings along with Ash Gardener with an 81-run stand for the fourth wicket to help Australia inch closer to the target.
En route to this match-defining stand, the right-handed batter smashed a half-century before falling to Masabata Klaas with only four runs required. The reigning champions have four wins in their four league matches and top Group A and will await the results of Group B to find out their opponent in the semi-final.
Earlier in the day, the home team were off to a flyer as Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt combined to put on 54 runs at a run-a-ball for the opening wicket.
However, they lost wickets at regular intervals in the middle overs and were tottering at 77 for four. Despite the stutter, Proteas managed to reach 124 runs in the first innings, which unfortunately did not challenge the batting depth of Australia.
South Africa will now lock horns against Bangladesh in a must-win encounter and also hope that New Zealand edge past Sri Lanka in the other group game. The second team in the table will be decided by Net Run Rate (NRR), with South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand competing for one spot.
South Africa 124 for six in 20 overs (Tazmin Brits 45; Georgia Wareham 2/18, Ellyse Perry 1/8)
Australia 125 for four in 16.3 overs (Tahlia McGrath 57; Marizanne Kapp 2/21, Masabata Klaas 1/18)
Player of the Match: Tahlia McGrath (Australia)