Cape Town - Australia won a record fourth
ICC Women’s World T20 title with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England
at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.
Under lights and in
front of more than 10 000 spectators, Australia took wickets regularly to
strangle England, and then waltzed to victory.
Georgia Wareham, 19, starred in
the field for Australia: she was on a hat-trick, affected a direct-hit run-out,
and took a catch amidst a rare sloppy Australian fielding effort; they dropped
five catches, three of them straight-forward.
Ashleigh Gardener then took home
the Player of the Match award, hitting three sixes in the chase to build on a
solid bowling effort. It gave Australia their first ICC trophy since 2014.
Winning the toss, England
chose to put runs on the board, but could not string a partnership of more than
23 in their innings. Opener Danielle Wyatt was the common thread in four of
those partnerships as she put on an enterprising 43 (37b, 5x4, 1x6), looking
particularly dominant when hitting over mid-off.
Wyatt set the tone for England, taking 11 runs off the first over, but on a
pitch that didn’t have the turn of two nights ago, Australia used their fast
bowlers to rein things in. The pacers took two wickets in the first seven
overs, the second of those giving Ellyse Perry her 100th T20I
wicket, making her only the second player to breach that mark.
Perry should have had the
wicket earlier, but Alyssa Healy put down an outside edge off the bat of Wyatt,
the second of three lives the batter received. Wareham compensated by running
out Amy Jones with a direct hit from midwicket in the fifth over. The evening
saw more such up-and-down fielding from Australia, but a smart catch from Meg
Lanning in the 11th over finally saw the back of Wyatt. .
Wareham then took over: After
conceding just one run off the bat in her first over, she took two wickets in
two balls in her second, the 13th, to leave England tottering at 74
for six. Despite captain Heather Knight’s rear-guard 25 (28b, 1x4, 1x6), England
were bowled out for 105 in the last over, with no other batter crossing double
figures. Ashleigh Gardener claimed three for 22, including the wickets of Wyatt
and Knight, to claim the best figures by a spinner in a World T20 final.
Despite the small total, the
festive crowd cheered every boundary the Australians hit in reply. They lost
the fluent Healy in the Powerplay, but not before she has built a partnership
of 29, scoring 22 (20b, 4x4) of those. Gardener (33 not out, 26b, 1x4, 3x6) and
Lanning (28, 30b, 3x4) then finished the job, with Lanning scoring the winning
runs off the first ball of the 16th over.
Sir Vivian Richards gave away
the World T20 trophy to Australia captain Lanning, and Healy took home the
Player of the Tournament award for her 225 runs.
Australia have consolidated
their top-spot in the ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings,
while England have improved their pre-tournament position of third, overtaking
New Zealand to move into second spot.
Player of the Tournament Alyssa Healy: “I’m a really bad watcher of cricket on the sidelines,
but the girls played beautifully and I’m really proud of this team’s effort.
enjoying playing with freedom. Our batting line-up enables us to play freely
and I knew it would come off eventually. Really enjoying myself and I hope to
continue in the Big Bash.
worked hard on the culture in last 18 months. Win, lose or draw today, we are
really proud of this group we’ve got and the way we played.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning: “We
probably didn’t have the best day in the field. But we came in prepared and the
bowlers did a great job to create so many chances.
haven’t had success over the last two years, and the last two World Cups
hurt. So we learned a lot and changed a few things. And the group really
embraced that. So this is a very satisfying win.
India loss didn’t affect us. A couple of years ago it might have rocked us. But
we’ve got a really calm group now.
England captain Heather
Knight: “I thought it was a much better pitch than the semi-finals.
Danni Wyatt started brilliantly but we kept losing wickets. We knew there would
be dew, but we wanted to put runs on the board.”
“I’m really proud of the girls
for making another world final. Australia were better than us today. But we
came in with a lot of inexperience, so some of the girls stepped up
brilliantly. Sophie Ecclestone, she’s only been around a year, and Kirstie
Gordon was a real find.”
Scores in brief:
Australia defeated England by eight wickets at
the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
England: 105 all out, 19.3 overs (Danielle
Wyatt 43, Heather Knight 25; Ashleigh Gardener 3-22, Georgia Wareham 2-11,
Megan Schutt 2-13)
Australia: 106-2, 15.1 overs (Ashleigh Gardener
33 not out, Meg Lanning 28 not out, Alyssa Healy 22)