Beating Australia in a Women’s T20 World Cup final is an almost impossible task. The most successful team in the format, they have reached six consecutive finals at the tournament after missing out in the first edition and have lifted the title five times, including the massive win over India in March at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of a record crowd.
The one time they ended with a runner-up plate was back at the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, when West Indies stunned them in a sensational final. In a astonishing result, Australian dominance was broken and a new world champion emerged in women’s cricket.
Having lost the semi-final on three previous occasions, the West Indies finally broke their curse by making the showpiece at the Eden Gardens – the match that arguably changed the narrative around women’s T20 cricket.
For many cricket fans, the spectacle that came after – when Carlos Brathwaite smashed Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final to win a losing final – is the resounding memory of that day. But a few hours earlier, Stafanie Taylor’s West Indies had scripted just as stunning a win, at least in terms of impact.
For starters, the 2016 edition was the last time the ICC World T20 was held as a double-header for both men and women. From 2018, we saw standalone events for the women with the matches being played under lights and not as a precursor to the men’s game. It was a progression, boosted by the emphatic final win.
ICC Women's T20 World Cup finalists
|2010||West Indies||Australia||New Zealand|
Overcoming reigning champions and overwhelming favourites Australia was one thing, but chasing down 149 runs with eight wickets in hand was truly something else.
On that April day in the Kolkata sun, Meg Lanning elected to bat first and put on a strong 148/5 in 20 overs. Lanning and Elyse Villani scored fifties at the top of the order while Ellyse Perry chipped in with 28. All of West Indies bowlers, barring the T20 giant that is Anisa Mohammed, were hit for runs. With bowlers like Perry, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen in their line-up, Australia would have been happy with the target.
But that was the day for the flamboyant Windies batting stars. Openers Hayley Matthews (66 off 45) and Taylor (59 off 57) took off with their foot on the gas and ensured the chase didn’t falter with a 120-partnership. Although both fell before the finish line, all-round star Deandra Dottin took them to a memorable win.
The 2016 edition is one that will live long in the memories of West Indies supporters and players alike. Captain Taylor broke the tournament record by scoring 246 runs, while Mohammed became the first player, male or female, to take 100 T20I wickets.
It also signalled a sign of more competitiveness in the format to come. But while T20 became more unpredictable, it didn’t take long for Australia to bounce back from the loss and rebuild. Lanning and Co won the next two editions while West Indies were unable to reach another final.
Even then, the 2016 Women’s World T20 final will always be the one that changed the game.
Relive that here:
You can watch the match highlights here:
Captain Stafanie Taylor relives the win and why it is was special for her and her teammates who lit up Eden Gardens with their dance-filled celebrations at the end of the final: