Australia v England, Women’s World T20, final
Report by: Andrew McGlashan
There is no doubt who the best women’s T20 side in the world are. Australia overwhelmed England to secure a hat-trick of World T20 titles, cruising to a six-wicket victory. They were miserly in the field, restricting England to 105 for 8, then quickly put themselves ahead of the rate in the chase which was fittingly led by Meg Lanning with a powerful 44 as she became the leading run-scorer at the event.
The key difference was summed up in the sixes count: Australia struck four, extending their lead in the six-hitting league for the tournament, while England could not manage one – leaving their tournament tally at zero. The Powerplays were a microcosm: England limped to 24 for 1 while Australia skipped to 43 for 1 – including two of the sixes – to break the back of the chase.
Jess Jonassen set the tone, drilling Danielle Hazell’s first ball for six, as she took 14 off the second over of the innings. The main threat to Australia was Anya Shrubsole, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, but with a small total to chase they knew they did not have to over-attack against her although it did not stop Lanning putting her over the boundary – it was the ultimate statement from Australia’s captain.
Shrubsole did add to her wicket tally when Jonassen picked out mid-on and Jenny Gunn removed Elyse Villani but they were no more than minor irritants for Australia. Perry, who earlier claimed a miserly 2 for 13 from her four overs, skipped to an unbeaten 31 as she and Lanning added 60 in eight overs although the captain could not quite be there at the end when she tried to clear the infield for the winning hit but found mid-off.
England’s batting has been underwhelming during the tournament – only Charlotte Edwards played close to her best and the fact they were often chasing low totals meant the middle and lower order had not had much time in the middle when they were needed to try and lift an innings in the final
They struggled to overcome a slow pitch as their two leading batsmen, Sarah Taylor and Edwards, laboured against accurate bowling. Sarah Coyte removed them both, Edwards lofting to mid-on trying to force the pace and Taylor unfortunate to be lbw on the reverse sweep, on her way to the second-best figures in a Women’s World T20 final.
England’s only fluent period of batting came shortly after the Powerplay as Taylor and Heather Knight moved along at nearly eight an over to suggest they had gone some way to mastering the conditions. But Taylor’s departure was soon followed by Lydia Greenway’s, well caught low down by Healy, and when Knight was superbly caught at deep midwicket it meant two new batsmen had to try and rebuild.
They never threatened to break the shackles and the only two boundaries in the second half of the innings came in the same over from Rene Farrell. However, the expectation was that Australia would still have to work hard in the chase but they barely had a concern as they kept hold of a trophy that has become a permanent fixture in the Jolimont cabinet.