Australia sealed their sixth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title with a clinical 19-run victory over hosts South Africa at Newlands.

Beth Mooney believes Australia’s insatiable appetite for winning helped haul them to victory in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 final.

The player of the final crashed an unbeaten 74 off just 53 balls to help her side to 156 for six from their 20 overs, before a see-saw South Africa innings ended with the holders coming out on top once again by 19 runs.

Their victory in front of a packed-out Newlands marked their third T20 World Cup title in a row – and sixth overall – to see them continue to hold both the T20 and ODI World Cups.

And Mooney, 29, said: “We want to continue winning as many as there is out there.
“We don’t get tired of it.

“Something we speak about as a group is making sure we’re always evolving along the way, I think we’ve seen in this tournament, there are teams around the world getting better and better as the years go on.

“And we know that we’re being hunted, people are looking at us for what we do, and how we go about it, so certainly, it won’t last forever.

“But we’ll enjoy it for as long as we can, and hopefully we can keep piling up those trophies and enjoying our streak.”

Mooney lost her opening partner Alyssa Healy in the fifth over and looked stuck after Shabnim Ismail delivered a maiden in the very next over.

But she showed her class to recover, bringing up her half-century from 44 balls which marked her second consecutive fifty in T20 World Cup finals.

She then found a willing partner in Ashleigh Gardner, who made 29 from 21 before being expertly caught by South Africa skipper Sune Luus.

Grace Harris and Meg Lanning both departed for 10, before two wickets in Ismail’s final over left the game in the balance.

Mooney added: “The game is never over until it’s over, I think that’s what keeps bringing us back.

Meg Lanning of Australia lifts the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on February 26, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.

“We fought really hard against India, it was an exciting contest, but we know if we’re half a per cent off here and there in T20 World Cups, you can lose the game.

“For us, it’s never boring. I think we’re always in a contest and always in a fight.”

Australia restricted South Africa to only 22 runs in the powerplay as Darcie Brown had Tazmin Brits caught for 10.

Their slow start weakened the effect of powerful hitting from Laura Wolvaardt and Chloe Tryon in the middle overs, with the former’s dismissal for 61 from 48 ending South Africa’s slim chances.

The final over was a nerveless affair as Australia came together to celebrate another World Cup victory, but Mooney believes this is the first of a new era under coach Shelley Nitschke after Matthew Mott’s move to the England white-ball setup.

“We were very successful when Motty [Matthew Mott] moved on,” Mooney said.

“And I think that the next challenge for us is something that really excites us and this is step one of that challenge post-Commonwealth Games, and we’ll wait and see what’s next for this group.

“But at the moment, I think it’s just really important for us to enjoy it, it’s been a long slog the last six months so, it’ll be a great opportunity for us to enjoy it.”

Sune Luus: ‘It’s a bittersweet feeling’

Sune Luus expressed pride in her South African side despite slipping to a 19-run defeat against Australia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 final.

The Proteas made history as the first South African side to reach a World Cup final and played the showpiece in front of a sold-out crowd on home soil at Newlands.

Luus’s side kept Australia in touching distance with a disciplined bowling display, the holders making 156 for six from their 20 overs.

After a slow start, Laura Wolvaardt began to motor - making 61 from 48 balls - but her departure signalled the end of South Africa’s hopes as Australia comfortably closed out the death overs.

“I think it’s a bittersweet feeling,” Luus said. “But personally, I’m just feeling extremely proud of each and every teammate of mine and management staff.

“We’ve done an incredible job to get to the final and I think to put up a good fight against a team like Australia, I just feel very proud.

“We have got a sniff of how a final is and the feelings and the nerves and everything and now we have the heartache of not winning a final.

“Getting through the hurdle of the semi-final, next year’s World Cup when we get there again, it’s not going to be a big thing for us anymore to break that curse.

“I think now it’s just for us to really look at that final and say, ‘Okay, cool, how are we going to get through the final and be on the other side of that?’”

Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the South Africa bowlers as she took two wickets for 26 runs from her four overs, including bowling a maiden over to put the pressure on Beth Mooney.

The opener responded in some style, going on to make 74 not out to be named player of the match, combining well with Ashleigh Gardner to steady the ship.

Ismail then secured a late fightback for South Africa with two wickets in two balls in the final over of Australia’s innings.

The Proteas were hesitant in reply, making only 52 runs from the first ten overs before Wolvaardt and Chloe Tryon kicked into gear as they put on a 55-run partnership.

The duo were dismissed in consecutive overs to end any chance of the title, but Luus hopes their performance in front of packed Newlands is a sign of what is to come.

She said: “We’re knocking on doors and we are so, so close to the best in the world.

“We’ve knocked over India, we’ve knocked over England in high-pressure situations. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it today.

“But we are close. We have such talented people in our team, and with the right resources and the right structures, we can get them to the next level.

“I’m really excited for the next months to come and what’s going to happen and just for the players’ growth, I think it’s going to be exponential.

“This team is just going to grow from strength to strength, we’ve set the benchmark here today and we’re not going to settle for anything less in the future.”

Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.