Aussies scrape through to T20 Games final

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It wasn't pretty, maybe even a little ugly, but Australia are one win away from doing what they set out to do - become the first team to win Commonwealth Games women's T20 cricket gold.

Australia scrapped and clawed their way past a wasteful New Zealand to book a spot in Sunday's gold medal match against India.

It's a rematch of the opening match of the tournament in which the Aussies survived an almighty scare.

There were a few nervy moments against the Kiwis as well, before Grace Harris and Ash Gardner dragged their side past New Zealand's 7-144 with five wickets in hand and three balls to spare.

"T20 cricket can be a bit like that in terms of having to scrap your way to a win," opener Beth Mooney said.

"There's so much belief within that dressing room that we can always get the job done no matter what it looks like and we can sometimes accept that it can look pretty ugly."

The Kiwis will no doubt be ruing the one that got away.

You don't get too many chances to beat Australia's all-conquering outfit, and New Zealand fluffed their lines at the worst possible time.

Mooney, Meg Lanning, Tahlia McGrath and Rachael Haynes were all given a life during Australia's run chase.

While Lanning's dropped chance - when she was put down first ball at point - didn't hurt too much, the same can't be said for the others.

Mooney and McGrath made the most of their second chances with a 56-run partnership that gave Australia the momentum.

"There's going to be moments that are going to wake us up because there were some chances that we didn't quite take," said New Zealand opener Suzie Bates.

"But that's cricket - you've got to be at your best against Australia."

Australia weren't at their best either, but they got the job done, as they have done all tournament.

Megan Schutt was the pick of the bowlers with 3-20 off her four overs, including the prized scalp of Bates for a first-ball duck.

She thought she had two in two when debutant Georgina Plimmer was adjudged lbw, but it was overturned on review.

Skipper Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr lifted the Kiwis past 100, but just as Devine looked set to unleash - having cracked a four and six off consecutive Jess Jonassen deliveries - she was caught on the boundary for 53 off 48.

It ended a 73-run stand with Amelia Kerr.

With their guns back in the shed, New Zealand struggled to accelerate and the innings faded rather than fizzed.

The Aussies looked shaky in reply until Tahlia McGrath - averaging 169 coming into the match - and Mooney took advantage of their second lives before McGrath (34 off 23) was spectacularly run out by Kerr.

Mooney departed for 34 off 26, and with Australia needing 21 off 20 balls, Izzy Gaze missed a stumping chance off Haynes.

While there were some more nervous moments, the Aussies eventually did enough to advance.

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