The England batter remained unbeaten and guided her team through a tricky chase to help it top Group A
Sarah Taylor's unbeaten 65 off 53 balls guided England towards a comprehensive win over Australia.
It is not without reason that the Australia-England rivalry is the biggest in the women's game. Monday's group A encounter, the last of the group games at the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 in Galle, proved just why. Both teams showed how high the standards are at the top of the women’s game in a match that made for compelling viewing. At the end of it, it was England which walked away worthy winners by seven wickets.
The innings was anchored by Sarah Taylor, who made an unbeaten 65 off just 53 balls to lead England's pursuit of 145. Her ninth Twenty20I fifty, was studded with eight fours that helped England reach its target in 18.1 overs. After a measured start, Taylor soon found her feet and attacked after crossing 30. The Australian bowlers appeared to lack a plan B. For the first ten overs of the chase, England seemed content on preserve wickets, and they then accelerated to ease to victory.
Australia went off the boil after picking up the wicket of Arran Brindle in the 13th over. That left England at 83 for three, but to her great credit, Danielle Wyatt took the pressure off Taylor with an aggressive 17-ball 33. All the Australian bowlers were expensive, with Ellyse Perry, Julie Hunter and Jess Jonassen picking up one wicket apiece.
Earlier, after opting to bat, Australia powered its way to 144 for 5 in 20 overs, with most of the batters chipping in with useful contributions. Meg Lanning set the tone at the top of the innings with 39, but it was the fourth-wicket partnership of 55 between Lisa Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell, who made 28, that gave Australia the impetus towards the latter half of its innings. Sthalekar's 38 came off just 28 balls, with four boundaries.
Australia's move to attack the spinners right from the outset worked. Although one couldn't really find fault with England's approach as a fielding unit, the bowling at times was inconsistent. Anya Shrubsole picked up two wickets for England.
The win meant that England topped group A with three wins from as many matches. It will play New Zealand in the first semi-final on October 4 in Colombo, while the second semi-final will be contested between Australia, the defending champion, and West Indies the following day.