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 a win.
Australia’s young spinners made amends for shoddy fielding in dismissing England for 105 after they chose to bat first. Opener Danielle Wyatt top-scored with a breezy 43 off 37 balls with five fours and a six, making the most of chance offered in just the third over when wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy dropped her off seamer Ellyse Perry.
However, only captain Heather Knight (25) managed any other score of note as off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner and leggie Georgia Wareham combined for five wickets to give the Australians an excellent chance of lifting a fourth World T20 title.
Although a succession of opportunities were missed in the field via dropped catches and errant run out attempts, it was the teenager Wareham who shook her team out of their lethargy with a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to run out semi-final “Player of the Match” Amy Jones.
She then claimed the wickets of Lauren Winfield and Sophia Dunkley off consecutive balls to give her side a firm grip on the match. Gardner accounted for Wyatt and Knight as the wickets tumbled and the 21-year-old then added the scalp of Anya Shrubsole, who fell seeking to clear the midwicket boundary.
Shrubsole, England’s heroine in the Women’s World Cup final against India at Lord’s in London last year, faced a stern test along with the other England bowlers to limit a strong Australian batting line-up in pursuit of a modest target.
Australia lost the fluent Healy in the Powerplay, but not before she had built a partnership of 29 with Beth Mooney, scoring 22 of those. The festive crowd cheered every boundary the Australians hit in reply, as Ashleigh Gardner (33 not out) and Meg Lanning (28 not out) then finished the job. Lanning scored the winning runs off the first ball of the 16th over.
England 105 all out in 19.3 overs (Danielle Wyatt 43, Heather Knight 25; Ashleigh Gardener 3/22, Georgia Wareham 2/11, Megan Schutt 2/13) lost to Australia 106/2 in 15.1 overs (Ashleigh Gardener 33 not out, Meg Lanning 28 not out, Alyssa Healy 22) by 8 wickets.
With inputs from AFP