Australia's Beth Mooney scored a measured half-century before Tayla Vlaemnick and Sophie Molineux sparkled with the ball, as England not only lost the game but even fell eight runs short of their final qualification target in the last group game of the tri-nation series on Sunday, 9 February.
Defending a modest 133 only one day after they failed to defend 174 against India, Australia's bowlers were under pressure in the do-or-die game in Melbourne. They responded superbly, picking up wickets at frequent intervals.
In a spell that was characterised by both pace and accuracy on a pitch that offered a little bit of bounce, Vlaeminck was brilliant with the new ball. She dismissed England openers Danielle Wyatt (11) and Amy Jones (9) inside the Powerplay to give Australia an opening.
And Australia win by 16 runs 👏— ICC (@ICC) February 9, 2020
It will be 🇦🇺 vs 🇮🇳 in the tri-series final on Wednesday!#AUSvENG https://t.co/JAXpvaV22b
Left-arm spinner Molineux's quest to make further inroads was aided by some questionable shot selection from English players, even though the asking rate was in their control for the most part: Natalie Sciver holed out to deep mid-wicket for 16, captain Heather Knight was stumped for 13 when she charged down the track while Tammy Beaumont was bowled for six when she tried the reverse-sweep.
Lauren Winfield kept England in the game with a few enterprising hits towards the end, but after she was dismissed for 23 by Megan Schutt in the 19th over, even the 124-run target that would've ensured their qualification for the finals with a superior net run rate, went out of their reach.
Earlier, Australia's batting had been scratchy. Mooney held things together with a sublime half-century, but failed to find too many partners at the other end, with none of the batters in the top five scoring more than Lanning's 12.
Australia defeat England by 16 runs to storm into the final of the tri-nation series 🔥— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 9, 2020
They will take on India in the big game! pic.twitter.com/I0UHi3Lysr
A crucial 21-ball 24 by Rachael Haynes in the death overs added some impetus to Australia's innings. The spin duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn were the pick of the English bowlers, taking 2/19 and 2/18.
Australia and India will play the final of what has been a superbly contested tri-series in Melbourne on Wednesday.