Teary end for Perry as Australians through to semis
Australia’s push for a crowning glory on home soil will almost certainly need to come without the nation's defining sportswoman of the generation after Ellyse Perry made a teary exit from Junction Oval on Monday.
A hamstring injury suffered while fielding is set to preclude the superstar all-rounder from being part of Australia's Twenty20 World cup semi-final in Sydney on Thursday night – a match which is also under threat from the elements.
Ellyse Perry leaves the field after suffering a suspected hamstring injury while fielding in Australia’s win over New Zealand on Monday.Credit:Getty Images
Perry had entered Monday’s must-win group match against New Zealand under an injury cloud, having been troubled by a hip issue in the days leading up to the match. She went through a fitness test at Junction Oval in the hours before the game and was ultimately cleared to play, making a handy 21 from 15 balls after being promoted up the order to No. 5 as the Australians posted 5-155 from their 20 overs after being sent in.
Perry sent down two overs for 15 in the run chase before calamity struck in the 11th over when she fell while throwing off-balance at mid-off. She clutched at the back of her right leg before hobbling off the ground with Australian team support staff while visibly emotional.
Australian captain Meg Lanning was bracing for bad news.
"It's a hamstring. What the extent of it is we're not sure," Lanning said after the match.
"You can't replace her. But we've got 15 players here who can do a job and you need a squad to win a World Cup. You can't rely on one or two players."
Ellyse Perry reacts as she leaves field.Credit:AAP
It continued a turbulent run for Perry, who in addition to the hip ailment had also been managing a shoulder issue sustained while playing for the Sydney Sixers in November.
Opening batter Beth Mooney (60 from 50 balls) and leg-spinner Georgia Wareham (3-17 from four overs) were the heroes for Australia, who shaded their Trans-Tasman rivals by four runs. Wareham removed key Kiwi trio Sophie Devine, Maddy Green and Suzie Bates – who was sent packing lbw after a shrewd decision review from Lanning.
Lanning made 21 from 17 batting at No. 3 after returning to first drop despite a recent trend against pairing her with Mooney in the event Alyssa Healy was the first wicket to fall – as occurred on Monday. Lanning explained that she moved up the order because of match-ups with NZ bowlers.
With Perry injured, Ash Gardner bowled the final over of the chase, which began with the White Ferns needing 20 to win, with the Australian spinner doing enough to secure a victory.
Australia’s win came despite some poor fielding, with Megan Schutt and Annabel Sutherland both culprits.
More than two years of build-up for this tournament has been centred around the showpiece final on Sunday night at the MCG in which organisers are hoping for a world record crowd for a standalone women’s sporting event.
But while the Australians are just one win away from the decider, rain is forecast for Sydney on Thursday, threatening the semi-finals which will be played as a double-header at the SCG.
Australia’s loss to India on the opening night of the tournament has consigned Lanning’s side to second place in their group, meaning they will be eliminated in the event of a no-result on Thursday night.
There is no reserve day allowed for the semis, both of which must be at least 10-over-a-side matches to be live affairs.
South Africa can secure a date with the Australians by beating the West Indies in the final Group B match in Sydney on Tuesday night. Should South Africa lose, they will finish second and take on India, leaving Australia to take on England.
Source: Read Full Article