Normal transmission was resumed on Sunday when Australia regained the ICC WT20 World Cup after a dominant victory in the final against England, their fourth title win from the last five contested. After losing the toss and being asked to field first, Meg Lanning’s team restricted England to a paltry total of 105.
After Player of the Tournament Alyssa Healy took 12 off Anya Shrubsole’s first over the tone of the chase was set. Despite Healy, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, being dismissed for just 22, the result was never in any serious doubt.
An unbroken 62 run stand between Captain Meg Lanning and Player of the Match Ashleigh Gardner ultimately saw the Australians home by eight wickets with 29 balls to spare. It was fitting that the winning runs came from Lanning’s bat prompting excited celebrations from the whole Australian team.
Australia 2/106 (Gardner 33*, Lanning 28*) defeated England 105 (Wyatt 43, Knight 25, Gardner 3-22, Wareham 2-11) by eight wickets
Harder than it needed to be.
As comfortable as the victory ended up being for the Aussies it was in no way helped by the teams worst performance in the field of the tournament. Despite bowling England out for 105, the Australians efforts in the field was hampered by missfields, missed runouts and five dropped catches. England’s top scorer Danielle Wyatt was the major beneficiary of the Australian sloppiness, dropped three times, before being dismissed via a sharp catch from Lanning.
Young Guns Fire.
One player who had no such problems in the field was 19-year-old Georgia Wareham. Playing in her first major tournament, Wareham was one of Australia’s best in the Final highlighted with her superb direct hit to run out Amy Jones. Not content with the one spark of brilliance, Wareham took two wickets in consecutive balls to stunt England’s efforts to rebuild the innings and took the catch to end the fighting innings of opposition skipper Heather Knight.
Player of the Match in her first major international Final, Ashleigh Gardner broke English hearts with both bat and ball. The 21-year-old removed both of England’s top scorers in her spell that saw her take three wickets. With the bat, after cautiously steadying the innings after the loss of two quick wickets, the number three batter showed the big hitting she is renowned for racing from three off 10 to 33 from 26 to see Australia home.
DRS Can Be Tricky.
The World Cup was the first time that DRS technology was used in the women’s game and it showed somewhat in its application during the final. After being adjudged LBW, England batter Natalie Sciver wasted no time in requesting the decision be reviewed by the third official. Adamant that she had gotten a piece of bat on the ball before it struck her pad she was visibly confused, even asking the umpire how, when the third umpire couldn’t find enough evidence to overturn the on-field decision.
The Australians had their own difficulties with the technology too but, unlike the English, theirs were self inflicted. During the 12th over, Delissa Kimmince got a ball to skid through on Lauren Winfield beating the batter for pace. As she gloved the ball behind the stumps, Healy made a muted appeal for caught behind. Lanning fielding in covers raced in to consult with the keeper about the merits of challenging the not out decision but Healy was uncertain. It would prove a mistake with replays indicating that Winfield had indeed contacted the ball with the toe end of her bat.
Though a mistake, it would not be a costly one with the Australians again in the same position an over later. Undeterred by her keeper’s indecision, and nobody else being aware, about whether Winfield had been struck on the pad before she had played the ball towards gully Lanning successfully challenged the decision. The very next ball Wareham would reward he once more with a brilliant delivery to dismiss Sophia Dunkley.
Ellyse Perry joins more elite company.
Already a dual international and the only person to play in ICC and FIFA World Cups, Perry created more history for herself during this tournament. In the last group game against India she became the first Australian to play 100 T20I and when she took the wicket of Nicole Sciver in the Final she became the first to take 100 T20I wickets.
Australia bats deep.
While the value of Alyssa Healy’s cannot be underestimated, highlighted by the fact the 50+ run stand between Lanning and Gardiner was the only one by Australia during the World Cup that did not involve her, the depth of batting behind her provided a great deal of freedom for her and the rest of the top order. A fact that Meg Lanning noted when talking after victory in the final. “With our batting line-up that we’ve got I feel like I can play a lot more freer,” she said. “I can just go out there and play rather than feel like I’ve got a lot of responsibility. I think over the last year or so, we’re not relying on one or two players anymore, and I think that probably found us out a little bit in the couple of World Cups previously.
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