Lanning hit the last run and that’s it, Australia becomes World Champion for the 4th time, performing extremely well on the night of final. Emotions poured out on the field of Cricket. Cuddling, hugging, jumping there were no boundaries of celebration tonight for the 4th time World T20 champions. Started the tournament as favorite and finished as the Ultimate Champions!
Ignoring the dew factor England opted to bat first and could manage to score only 105 in 19.4 overs and lost all their wickets in the process. Opened their innings with D Wyatt and Beaumont on a high but couldn’t continue on the momentum of last match’s win as Beaumont (4) went on to hit a big shot and mistimed it losing her wicket to Schutt in 4th over. A brilliant run-out by Wareham in the very next over sent A Jones (4), star of last match back to pavilion. In came Sciver (1), who lost her wicket (lbw) to Ellyse Perry, which took Perry to her 100th T20 wicket. Sciver went upstairs to review the decision but it didn’t change as the impact was in line and the ball was hitting the stumps.
On one hand, England was losing successive wickets and on the other hand was D Wyatt standing tall and strong finding the gaps, hitting boundaries, taking singles, timing the shots properly. 2 chances were dropped or else Wyatt could have been out on 34 and Captain Knight on 2. But the missed opportunity didn’t cost Aussies much as Lanning didn’t commit any mistake while taking an amazing catch of the Wyatt. She had to walk back to her hut after scoring 43 of 37 balls with five boundaries and one six. Knight dropped again this time on 14 by Perry, couldn’t hold on for long as she lost her wicket to Gardner on 25 (27b, 1-4s, 1-6s) and it was technically the end of England batting line up.
All the bowlers did extremely well. Gardner took 3 wickets by giving 22 runs in 4 overs.
Wareham took 2 wickets in 2 balls in her spell of 3 overs and dismissed Winfield and Brown by consuming only 11 runs. Schutt also took 2 wickets in 3.4 overs by giving 13 runs.
Australian held on their nerves as they walked onto the field to chase the total which could ultimately hand them their 4th T20 Title and played with winning spirit too. Healy and Mooney opened the innings for them and gave a good start but couldn’t capitulate on it. Healy, who scored 22 in 20 with four boundaries lost her wicket to a straight delivery by Ecclestone as she missed the ball completely and got stumped. And a few minutes later the other opener, Mooney (14), was caught behind the stump on Hazel’s delivery. That’s it! That’s the only 2 wicket which England could manage to take. Gardner (33) and Lanning (28) remained not out and lead their team to the coveted title. Sixes and boundaries came at regular interval. Gardner hit 3 sixes and one boundary in her innings of 26 balls and Lanning hit three boundaries in her innings of 30 balls. Australia won with 29 balls and 8 wickets to spare.
Aussies roared like tiger as they became champion for the 4th time in last 5 occasions. What an end to the tournament! Outclassing and over powering the opposition, Australia did nothing wrong today. And it was Gardner who put forth the best performance today as she contributed through both bat and ball.
Meg Lanning : We probably didn’t have our best day in the field. It was great. Wareham was great with the direct hit and her control with the ball was excellent. I thought it was pad first and I called for it (about the review). We obviously didn’t have the success we would have liked in the last couple of years. I think this is a very satisfying win. We knew we could change a few things and we are very calm group and I think we showed that tonight. The girls have been outstanding and the support staff has been excellent. I also want to thank the Aussie crew here. My mum and dad’s here, can’t be happier. Last couple of World cups haven’t gone our way and this is really satisfying. And now it’s the turn of the Aussies. In alphabetical order, obviously
Heather Knight : I thought it was a much better pitch then the semi final. It skidded on a lot more. Dani started really well. We just lost wickets at the key time and we lost momentum and we didn’t put a competitive total on the board. We thought there will be bit of due but it skidded on more than what we anticipated. We didn’t probably adapt to the conditions as good as we could have. Really proud of the girls for reaching the final. Australia were a better team than us today, congratulations to them. In terms of average and the wickets we have lost surely didn’t get it right. We came with some inexperience and the girls stepped up beautifully. Really great experience for the girls and the fans have been amazing. They are still singing and dancing, they have been our source of support. We got massive Ashes series to look forward to.
Ashleigh Gardner, Player of the match : I am not going to drop it (chuckles). Obviously lot of nerves, but we had lot of confidence coming into this game. I was trying to bowl into the wicket and all our bowlers did the job today. I didn’t have the tournament I probably would have liked and fortunately today it came off. I was seeking okay and as soon as the bowler tosses it up I knew that this was the one. Pretty amazing feeling.
Brief scores :
Australia won by 8 wickets
England 105 in 19.4 overs (D Wyatt 43 runs, Knight 25 runs; Gardner 3/22)
Australia 106-3/2 in 15.1 overs (Gardner 33 runs, Lanning 28 runs, Healy 22 runs; Ecclestone 1/12)