White Ferns through to World T20 semis

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 07:33 01/10/2012

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A significant rise in quality of opposition awaits the White Ferns after they progressed to the semifinals of the women's Twenty20 cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka.

An eight-wicket thrashing of the hosts in Galle overnight (NZT) was enough for New Zealand to book a spot in the final four as second qualifiers out of group B, behind the West Indies.

The Kiwis bounced back from their surprise first-up loss to the Windies to comfortably dispose of women's minnows South Africa and Sri Lanka, confidence-boosting wins but certainly not ones that have given an indication of how this team stacks up against the big girls.

That will come in Thursday's semifinal in Colombo, where they will play either Australia or England, the two winners of the first two Twenty20 World Cups.

Australia and England meet in the final group A match later today, the winner to play New Zealand and the loser to play the West Indies.

Either way, New Zealand will have to raise their game if they want to go one better than the first two World Cups, where they were runners-up.

The Ferns were never really tested against Sri Lanka. Having won the toss, Sri Lanka could only muster 89 all out, extras top-scoring with 19. Worryingly for New Zealand they bowled 14 wides in 17.4 overs, which would have been costly against better opposition.

The wickets were shared, with Morna Nielsen's 2-10 from four overs the pick of the figures.

The visitors completed the chase in convincing fashion, bringing up victory with 26 balls to spare and for the loss of just two wickets.

Opener Amy Satterthwaite was unbeaten on 32 while Sophie Devine made 23 before she was run out.

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