Australia will take momentum into their women’s World Twenty20 title defence in Bangladesh, after fast bowler Rene Farrell spearheaded another series win over England in Sydney on Sunday.
The Southern Stars still lost the overall Ashes series, but have finished the mixed-format campaign with more wins than England after taking out the ODI and now T20 components.
Farrell took 4-15 to restrict England to 8-101 from their twenty overs, before opening batter Elyse Villani scored 36 not out to guide Australia to an emphatic seven-wicket triumph with nine balls to spare in the final international at ANZ Stadium.
Australia are the undisputed queens of the T20 format, and will be full of confidence shooting for their third consecutive world crown in the sub-continent in March.
Leading Southern Stars players have called for a review of the points-scoring system as they were forced to settle for a moral victory this summer.
The one-off Test match won by England was worth six points compared to the two points awarded for each of the limited overs internationals.
Australia won 2-1 in both the ODIs and T20s, to finish the summer with four wins to England’s three, but they still weren’t able to make up the deficit.
“Perhaps you could fix that by giving more points to the ODIs,” said Australian captain Meg Lanning.
“I think for a Test match to be worth six points compared to two is a lot considering we don’t play many Test matches at all. It’s something to look into.
“It’s a bit bittersweet … We’re very proud that we’ve been able to come back … but England deserve their victory in the series.”
England were unable to cope with Farrell’s brilliant opening spell and a masterful performance by Lanning in the field.
Lanning took a one-handed screamer at mid-wicket and also completed a ruthless direct-hit run-out to tighten the screws on England after Farrell had the visitors reeling early at 3-15.
Farrell first struck in the second over of the match and was on a hat-trick midway through her next over.
Openers Alyssa Healy (22) and Villani put on 48 for the first wicket, with Lanning also chipping in with 23.
Ellyse Perry was named player of the series after starring with both bat and ball throughout the summer.
“I think it gives us a lot of confidence. We’re in a good frame of mind heading into Bangladesh now,” said Lanning.
England captain Charlotte Edwards lifted the urn and said her team were deserved winners.
“Both teams knew what the format was and that Test win was the difference between the two teams,” she said.
“We won the key moments.”