Muruwari woman Ash Gardner looks to fire in critical West Indies clash

Ash Gardner will be a key member of Australia's batting lineup in the finals. Photo by Cricket Australia.

Australia will face World T20 hosts West Indies in the semi-finals, after mixed results in the group stages.

Muruwari woman Ash Gardner (20) provided strong support to star Ellyse Perry (37) on Sunday, but the Australians couldn’t find a rhythm to chase down India’s impressive score of 167.

Australia has already booked a spot in the semi-finals ahead of the 48-run loss, with wins over Pakistan (52-runs), Ireland (9-wickets) and New Zealand (33-runs).

The team is sweating on the fitness of Alyssa Healy who suffered a mild concussion during the India clash.

Healy, who was the tournament’s leading run-scorer heading into Saturday’s loss, collided with teammate Megan Schutt in the field.

Healy has four days to prove her fitness between the India match and the must-win semi-final clash with the West Indies in Antigua.

“If all the ducks line up in a row, we have the perfect amount of days to graduate her back,” Dr Pip Inge told cricket.com.au.

Healy took to Twitter to announce she had improved after her first 24-hours of rest.

“Got a run in this morning and feeling really good. Fingers crossed it keeps getting better,” Healy said.

“I have been told the black eye makes me look tough so I’m rolling with it!”

If the opener is unable to return the Australians will look to their best four to pick up the slack.

Gardner’s 20-runs against India was her top score for the tournament and she will be hoping to fire in the critical Antigua match.

Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning will also be called upon to pile on the runs as the competition reaches the pointy end.

A win in this Friday’s clash with the West Indies will earn the Aussies a spot in the final.

By Keiran Deck

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