Australia’s women’s cricket team has cemented its place as one of the nation’s finest by winning its third straight World T20 title with a crushing six-wicket win over England in Bangladesh on Sunday.
The Southern Stars restricted England to 8-105 after being sent in by Meg Lanning. Australia won with 29 balls left despite losing two wickets just before clinching victory.
It was a third straight world T20 title for Australia, and was the perfect antidote to the agony of back-to-back Ashes losses to England in 2013-14.
The target set by England was hopelessly inadequate, as Lanning (44 off 30 balls) and another young veteran of the side Ellyse Perry (31 not out off 32) added 60 in just over eight overs for the third wicket.
I think we played close to the perfect match today.
Australia smashed ten fours and four sixes and kept England to just eight boundaries. England, by contrast, did not hit a six for the tournament.
Lanning was out just two runs shy of the target and veteran Alex Blackwell (0 off 3) was trapped lbw with the scores level.
Elyse Villani (12 off 17) and Jess Jonassen (15 off 8) got the chase off to a quick start, relieving the pressure than can sometimes accompany chasing a modest target.
Earlier, England were well placed at 1-55 in the tenth over, but lost 8-46 and couldn’t build a partnership of more than 33.
Heather Knight (23 off 24 balls) was the only England batter to pass 20 and hit three of her team’s eight boundaries.
The wickers were shared among the Australian attack. Medium pacer Sarah Coyte (3-16 off 4 overs) was the most successful.
Speedster Perry (2-13 off 4) new ball bowler Rene Farrell (2-27 of 4) also claimed multiple wickets, while spinner Jonassen (0-16 off 4) bowled a tight spell.
We were completely outplayed today by a very good Australian team.
“We came over here with a great side and I think we played close to the perfect match today,” Lanning said. “We bowled first so we needed to bowl well. It was definitely our bowlers that set it up today.
“We had our plans and we executed really well. We’re attacking in nature and we love to play our shots, so I think today we didn’t want to change anything.”
England captain Charlotte Edwards, the architect of so many of her team’s wins over Australia, said her side wasn’t good enough on the day and 105 was never going to be enough.
“We were completely outplayed today by a very good Australian team,” Edwards said. “They bowled very well. They bowled to their plans and came out there and batted with a lot of intent.”
Coyte, whose victims included leading England batters Edwards (13 off 19) and Sarah Taylor (18 off 25), was named player of the match. “They are two world-class batters and it was a big win for us when we got them out early,” Coyte said.
England bowler Amya Shrubsole took out the player of the tournament award.