Australia's Twenty20 World Cup hopes are alive after holding off New Zealand by four runs in a sudden-death trans-Tasman battle to secure a semi-final spot.
But the victory looks to have come at a major cost, with a shattered Ellyse Perry hobbling off Melbourne's Junction Oval with a hamstring injury.
The Aussie women sealed their place in the semi-finals of the tournament courtesy of a four-run win over the Kiwis in Melbourne.
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However, the hosts will likely have to navigate the business end of the tournament without arguably their most important player.
Last year's international women's cricketer of the year, Perry, suffered an apparent hamstring injury at the end of New Zealand's 11th over.
Perry overcame an injury cloud to take part in the match, making a quick-fire 21 runs (off 15 balls) with the bat to help Australia to 5-155 off their 20 overs.
The allrounder's injury curse struck again though in the field as she tried to effect a run-out from a quick New Zealand single.
Fielding at short mid-off, Perry picked up the ball and sent a diving throw to the non-striker's end, immediately clutching at her right hamstring after hitting the ground.
Groans could be heard from fans around the ground as Australia's medical team came to attend to the stricken allrounder.
Perry cut a shattered figure as she was ushered from the field by a member of Australia's medical team.
The horrible incident left many fans convinced they'd seen the last of the star at the tournament, describing it as a "huge blow" for the host nation.
Bad sign for Ellyse Perry and Australia as she leaves the field in pain.— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 2, 2020
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Devastating!— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) March 2, 2020
Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry limps off the field after suffering a leg injury against New Zealand.
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Oh dear, Ellyse Perry is walking off the field after she hurts herself while fielding. Looks like a hamstring issue— ZENIA D'CUNHA (@ZENIADCUNHA) March 2, 2020
This is not a good sign for Australia... #AUSvNZ
Terrible luck for @EllysePerry with a torn hamstring this afternoon while fielding. Would think that’s the World Cup over for her. Such bad luck! Has been battling with shoulder/hip/ankle problems all tournament. Very brave effort.. Still game on at Junction Oval #T20WorldCup2020— Zane Bojack (@zanofc) March 2, 2020
Ellyse Perry's hammy goes ping and a nation gasps. #shattering— John Takemura (@takaspeaksout) March 2, 2020
INJURY SCARE-— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) March 2, 2020
Perry is off ! That looks nasty as Ellyse Perry is off the field because of an injury. A huge blow for Australia. #T20WorldCup
Ellyse Perry is a walking injury in this tournament ... shoulder ... hip ... and now hamstring ... and this latest one looks tournament ending ... a huge blow for the defending champions 🏏 #iccwomenst20worldcup— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) March 2, 2020
Ellyse Perry has done her hamstring in the field. Looks like her #T20WorldCup is over— Alister Nicholson (@AlisterNicho) March 2, 2020
Uh-oh 😳— News Cricket (@NewsCorpCricket) March 2, 2020
Ellyse Perry has left the field in obvious pain - it looks as though she may have injured her hamstring while throwing off balance.
NZ now 2/75 off 12 | #AUSvNZ live blog: https://t.co/lG6aW3yv85#T20WorldCup #CmonAussie #WithTheWhiteFerns #EllysePerry pic.twitter.com/D0t0UgC4we
Perry injury sours gritty win for Aussies
Australia's superstar allrounder was already under a major injury cloud in the lead-up to Monday's crucial game after hurting her hip against Bangladesh last Thursday.
Perry's injury soured an otherwise impressive performance, with Beth Mooney's 60 powering Australia to a formidable total after being sent into bat by Kiwis skipper Sophie Devine.
If the White Ferns had won it would have been the fourth-highest successful run chase in women's T20 World Cup history.
The Kiwis looked threatening at times with the bat, on pace with Australia's score after the powerplay.
Even as wickets fell regularly, solid contributions from Devine (31), Maddy Green (28) and Katey Martin kept the White Ferns in the game.
But the total proved to be too much as young legspinner Georgia Wareham (3-17) and opening bowler Megan Schutt (3-28) tied down the White Ferns with brilliant spells.
Needing an impossible 10 runs to win from the final ball, the White Ferns finished off with a six.
Earlier, Mooney, who smashed an unbeaten 81 in her last innings, was forced to dig deep after opening partner Alyssa Healy tried one big shot too many and was caught at midwicket for nine.
Captain Meg Lanning (21) and Ashleigh Gardner (20) weren't able to capitalise on their promising starts and push Australia to an even more formidable target.
Australia join unbeaten India as semi-finalists from Group A and Lanning's team will now face South Africa or England at the SCG on Thursday.