Pure devastation for Aussie golden girl Ellyse Perry
AUSTRALIAN cricket star Ellyse Perry has been ruled out of the remainder of the women's T20 World Cup with injury.
The gun all-rounder hurt her hamstring while fielding during Monday's win over New Zealand and won't be available for the Aussies' semi-final on Thursday, against either England or South Africa.
Meg Lanning's side booked their place in the final four of the tournament with a four-run victory over their trans-Tasman rivals in a do-or-die clash in Melbourne, but it came at a cost.
Perry suffered a high-grade hamstring strain while attempting a run-out and Australian team doctor Pip Inge said the issue would keep the 29-year-old out of action for "a significant period of time".
She won't recover in time for a tour of South Africa later this month, but of more pressing concern for Perry's teammates is how they will cope without her as they try to defend the T20 crown they claimed in the West Indies in 2018.
Australia coach Matthew Mott praised Perry's contribution but was confident his team would have enough depth to cover for the loss of a player who offered so much with both bat and ball.
"Ellyse is a key member of our squad and has been for a long period of time and on a personal level we're disappointed that she won't have the opportunity to finish the tournament," Mott said.
"She gives her absolute all every time she takes to the field for her country and that was evident again against New Zealand in the selfless manner in which she threw herself into her batting, bowling and fielding performances.
"We're confident that we have enough depth in the squad to cover her batting and bowling and know whoever gets an opportunity will make a strong contribution."
Batting at No. 5, Perry scored 21 off 15 balls late in the Aussie innings of 5-155 before opening the bowling, but had sent down only two overs when her hamstring failed her.
Picking up the ball and throwing at the stumps, Perry immediately grabbed her leg as she tumbled to the turf. She grimaced and was in obvious pain as she limped off the ground, assisted by Australia's medical staff.
Australia managed to get over the line without Perry's help at the death, restricting the Kiwis to 7-151 as off-spinner Ash Gardner held her nerve in the final over.
RAIN LOOMS AS ANOTHER AUSSIE ENEMY
Rain threatens to end Australia's T20 World Cup title defence one match short of the final.
The Group A runner-up is scheduled to meet the winner of Group B, either South Africa or England, in a semi-final at the SCG on Thursday evening.
Rain is forecast in Sydney on Thursday and Australia will be eliminated if the match does not go ahead, with no reserve days scheduled for any matches except the final.
Under the tournament rules, the group winner would progress to Sunday's final at the MCG if semi-finals are abandoned.
Australia finished second to India in their group.
A minimum of 10 overs are required in each batting innings for a legitimate game, making rain delays harder to fit in.
World Cup CEO Nick Hockley is hoping that weather doesn't intervene.
"The cricket and the weather are things we can't control," Hockley told SEN. "We've just got our fingers crossed we can get a full game away.
"It's 10 overs a side for a semi-final to constitute a match.
"It's why finishing positions in the pool can be important.
"Fingers crossed it doesn't come down to that."
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