Australia win third WT20 crown |


Australia win third WT20 crown

Lanning, Perry power-hitting inspires Stars

Australia's women cruised to a third successive World T20 title, a comprehensive six-wicket win with the skipper Meg Lanning leading from the front in Dhaka.

The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain was caught at mid-on trying to hit the winning runs with only two remaining. However, her 60-run partnership with Ellyse Perry made light work of England's under-par 8-105, the victory completed with 29 balls to spare.

Australia's power hitting proved too much for England's bowlers to handle with only a small target to defend.

Lanning's knock of 44 from 30 balls included four fours and two sixes. The celebrations were stalled a moment longer when Alex Blackwell was out lbw with the scores tied.

Perry hit the winning runs from the next ball to send the Stars storming on to the pitch and starting the celebrations as the players sung their team song on the pitch.

Perry finished unbeaten on 31 from 32 balls, including three fours and a six.

Jess Jonassen gave the Australian innings some early impetus, hitting out to blast 14 runs from the second over from Danielle Hazell, including a six from the right-arm offspinner's first ball.

However, her fireworks were short lived when she tired the same approach against England's strike bowler Anya Shrubsole, miscuing an attempted big hit to gift a catch to Amy Jones at mid-on.

The pumped up bowler gave Jonassen (15, 10b) a send-off, but was soon left deflated by Southern Stars skipper Meg Lanning, with 15 coming off her next over. After Elyse Villani took a single, Lanning creamed Shrubsole through point to the boundary, then smashed a slower ball over the mid-off fence. It served to throw England's top weapon off her rhythm and Lanning was able to dispatch the low full-toss to the midwicket fence.

Villani (12, 17b) fell trying to hit out but Australia's bowlers had set the game up.

Lanning opted to bowl first after winning the toss with the threat of thunderstorms lurking. She revealed after the match that the decision was a close one, with the captain leaning towards batting while coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick was intent on bowling.

And Australia's bowlers backed up the decision with the perfect start. England's dangerous opening pair of Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor able to manage just 24 in the six-over powerplay.

The pressure told when England captain Edwards (13, 19b) tried to hit out and was well caught by Jess Cameron, diving forward at mid-off.

Coyte soon had the second breakthrough, removing Sarah Taylor (18, 25b) lbw after she missed an attempted reverse sweep off a yorker.

Replays showed umpire Aleem Dar may have been hasty in giving her out, the batter struck outside off, but her shuffle across the stumps in the reverse sweep attempt did her no favours.

Alyssa Healy's low take removed Lydia Greenway (2, 5b) in the next over after she struggled to handle the searching seamers of Ellyse Perry and England were reeling at 3-58 after 11 overs.

Erin Osborne was taken for 13 off her first over but fought back well to have Heather Knight caught by Perry running in from the midwicket boundary.

England continued to lose regular wickets. Natalie Sciver (9, 12b) was deceived by Rene Farrell's looping slower ball and had her off stump pegged back and Tammy Beaumont's hoik across the line missed to give Coyte her third wicket.

The New South Welshwoman finished with 3-16 from her four overs to be the pick of Australia's bowlers, while Perry trapped Amy Jones (12, 12b) lbw to finish with 2-13 from her four.

Dani Hazell (4, 10b) was the last to fall, caught on the fence by Osborne to give Farrell (2-27) her second victim.

England managed just eight boundaries and no sixes in their 20 overs while Australia hit 10 boundaries and four sixes.

Australia: Villani, Jonassen, Lanning (c), Perry, Blackwell, Cameron, Helay (wk), Osborne, Coyte, Farrell, Hunter. Kimmince (12th)

England: Edwards (c), Taylor (wk), Knight, Greenway, Sciver, Jones, Beaumont, Gunn, Hazell, Shrubsole, Grundy

Road to the final

The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars suffered an early setback in their quest for a third successive World T20 crown, going down to New Zealand in their opening match.

But, on the back of some power hitting from skipper Meg Lanning, the Aussies recovered with wins over South Africa, Ireland and Pakistan to finish top of their group.

Their hard-fought five run semi-final victory of the West Indies was exactly what the side needed heading into what is likely to be a grinding final.

Runners-up in the 2012 edition of the World T20 in India, England are out for revenge in Dhaka, overcoming a slow start of their own (against the West Indies) to also finish top of their group.

But that’s where the similarities stop for the two teams, with Charlotte Edwards’ team losing just the one wicket on their way to chasing down a modest South African target.


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