Left-handed opener Beth Mooney hit a delightful 53 while captain Meg Lanning applied finishing touches with 49 not out as Australia posted a strong 172/4 against India in the first semifinal of 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup at Newlands Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Australia's big players lived up to their reputation of coming good in a crunch knockout game as Beth, in her 37-ball knock, hit seven fours and a six apart from earning a reprieve, while Meg was outstanding in her 34-ball unconquered stay, hitting four boundaries and two sixes, to make up for a slow start to take 103 runs off the last ten overs.

India were sloppy in their ground fielding, catching, field placements while in their bowling, they were found wanting. Every India bowler had an economy of above 7.5, with fast bowler Shikha Pandey taking two wickets, while Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav took a wicket apiece.

Electing to bat first, Alyssa Healy began by driving off Renuka Thakur on the first ball of the innings. Alyssa looked in scintillating touch, dancing down the pitch to loft Renuka over mid-on and then smashed Deepti in the gap between short extra cover and mid-off to pick a brace of boundaries.

On the other hand, Beth was really good with anything having width from the spinners. She began by cutting and thumping Deepti for four and six respectively. Shortly after Australia reached their fifty in the eighth over, Alyssa was stumped by Richa Ghosh off Radha's bowling.

After a few misfields, India's insipid fielding show extended to their catching when Richa dropped a tough chance of Meg when she was at one off Sneh Rana. Beth continued to feast on width and loop from Radha Yadav, taking two fours, the second of which was a catch that Shafali Verma dropped at 32.

Beth used her feet to loft Sneh inside-out to go over cover for four and then squeezed a cut on a wide yorker from Shikha as well as scooped over short third man to get back-to-back boundaries, which took her to fifty.

Shortly after reaching her eighth fifty against India, Beth couldn't keep cut down and the ball went straight to Shafali at the backward point.

Meg and Ashleigh Gardner feasted on some loose deliveries from India, bringing out cut, pull and sweep to take five boundaries off Sneh and Radha combined.

When Renuka came back in the 17th over, Ashleigh hit two boundaries straightaway, before she was clean-bowled by Deepti in the next over. After Grace Harris fell quickly, Meg hit two fours and as many sixes in the last two overs, including taking 18 runs in the final over off Renuka, to give Australia a strong finish.

Brief scores: Australia 172/4 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 53, Meg Lanning 49 not out; Shikha Pandey 2-32, Deepti Sharma 1-30) against India