In the final of the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand Sophie Devine need a boundary to force a super over.
Ellyse Perry was the winner of that battle and the Southern Stars won their first ICC T20 title. Fast forward last night in Colombo, Sri Lanka and it was an all too familiar scene.
This time though England were the opposition, Erin Osborne the bowler and a six was required to win. For the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, who were in control for most of the match, it was almost the one that got away.
The general consensus to most in the know, and even from some who aren’t, was that England were red-hot favorites. Having won seventeen of the last eighteen international T20 games and not dropping a game so far in the tournament they had reason to be.
Enter an Australian outfit full of self belief, a solid game plan and a lot of resolve. Their 28 run semi-final win over the West Indies was more than just gaining a spot in the final. Defending the meager total of 115 meant they had to show a lot of fight and display a level of cricket that would hold up under the power hitting of the West Indies. Mission accomplished.
Losing the toss to England captain Charlotte Edwards and being sent in was a win for both teams as England is renowned for chasing no matter the match and Australia, like in the semi, are keen to put the runs on the board. And did the openers do just that.
Meg Lanning continued her consistent tournament and set the tone with a glorious square drive off Brunt in the first over for four. Alyssa Healy steadied her nerves with some sharp singles and then started to really get on top of both pace and spin. The removal of Brunt from the attack was another win to Australia.
The fifty-run opening partnership was exactly the start required and although losing Lanning (25) caught and bowled to Colvin and Healy (26) bowled to Hazell the runs kept flowing.
Jess Cameron in her player of the match innings was reserved by her standards to start with. Then with a flick of the switch started hitting to all points of the field with reverse sweeps, paddles over the keepers head and big sixes straight. Her 45 off just the 34 deliveries was well supported by Lisa Sthalekar (23*) and the combination hit at 8.5 runs per over in the overs between 10 and 16. Alex Blackwell (13) was run out on the last ball leaving a competitive total of 142 on the board.
With memories of the round game the Aussies girls let slip with a similar total set against England still fresh, early wickets needed to be backed up through the innings and the Stars did just that. The only major glitch early an injury to Jess Cameron being hit on the knee cap by a fiercely driven ball of Perry. Cameron left the field in obvious pain, however return later in the match. Laura Marsh was the first big wicket, the 3rd top run scorer of the tournament out to a sharp caught and bowled to tournament leading wicket take Julie Hunter.
Then the first of the captaincy changes that made a significant impact on the game. Fields brought Lisa Sthalekar back on when Edwards started to hit out in the last over of the power play. Boundaries well protected, Sthalekar enticed Edwards (28) into the big hit, which was taken by Perry at deep mid wicket. Known for her economy more than her wicket taking this series Sthalekar then backed it up with the wicket of Brindle straight after Jess Jonassen had removed Lydia Greenway. The Stars were on a roll and well in control.
Game changer Wyatt (9) was another Jonassen wicket through a classic catch by Alex Blackwell diving forward at cover. The young Queenslander enjoyed the big stage finishing with 3-25 off her allotted overs.
So with all going to plan and Australia in control the wobbles poked their head up with dropped catches and some cleaning hitting form Danielle Hazel.
The equation getting down to 16 off the last over and Erin Osborne with ball in hand. The over had it all including a waist high full toss hit for three, a dropped catch, a misfield and finally a wicket on the second last ball. The required six was missed and the celebrations were duly fitting of a magnificent final between the two best sides in world cricket.
For the second ICC WT20 in a row the women’s final produced a last ball win and another world cup for Australia. It may have been 24 years since an Australia v England final but it was well and truly worth the wait.
First Posted 08 October, 2012 2:18PM AEST