Aussies Dispose of England to Clinch Fourth Title

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NORTH SOUND, Antigua, (CMC) – Favourites, Australia, brushed aside England by eight wickets here Saturday night to wrap up their fourth ICC Women’s Twenty20 title and make amends for their failure two years ago.
In a lopsided final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the Aussies clinically chased down an uncomplicated 106 to spark celebrations before a full house and make history by winning the first ICC women’s stand-alone tournament.
England chose to bat but were bundled out for 105 with two balls remaining in the innings, after suffering a stunning collapse.
Opener, Danielle Wyatt, struck a fluent 43 off 37 balls while captain Heather Knight chipped in with 25 from 28 deliveries, but England capitulated from 64 for three in the 11th over, losing their last seven wickets for 41 runs.
Off-spinner, Ash Gardner, produced magical figures of three for 22 to earn Player-of-the-Match honours while leg-spinner, Georgia Wareham (2-11), and new-ball seamer, Megan Schutt (2-13), supported with two wickets apiece.
In reply, England believed they were still in with a chance at 44 for two in the eighth over, but the 21-year-old Gardner and captain Meg Lanning combined in an unbroken 62-run third wicket stand to put the Aussies over the line.
Gardner struck an unbeaten 33 from 26 deliveries with a four and three sixes to propel the innings while Lanning stroked three boundaries in a 30-ball innings.
Opener Alyssa Healy, voted Player-of-the-Tournament, had earlier gathered a busy 22 from 20 balls to give the innings a flying start.
“We haven’t had the success we’d have liked the last couple of years – the last two World Cups really hurt,” Lanning said afterwards.
“We had to change a few things, move things forward, play a little differently, and this is a really satisfying win.”
She added: “The loss to India [in the preliminaries] didn’t affect the team. We knew we came up against a very good side. A couple of years ago, that might have robbed us. But we stayed calm.”
Knight conceded that Australia had played the better cricket and deserved the success.
“We wanted to put runs on the board, we knew there’d be dew,” she explained.
“We probably didn’t quite adapt to conditions as well as we could have. Obviously, Australia are the better team on the day, and congratulations to them.”
Australia reached the final of the 2016 final before going down to eventual champions West Indies,
who they beat this time around in last Thursday’s semi-final.

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