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ICC WORLD T20 - WOMEN

Southern Stars: a tale of three titles

17 March 2016
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From two nail-biters to the "most complete performance", Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy share their WT20 memories

About the Writer:
 @JollyLauz18

Laura Jolly is a writer for cricket.com.au. She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. 

Three finals. Three classic encounters. Three World T20 titles.

The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have enjoyed an unparalleled run in Women's World T20 tournaments, winning three of the four events to date.

Quick single: Get to know the Southern Stars

Their trio of triumphs are all memorable for different reasons – two nail-biting final-ball victories followed by a complete domination of their fiercest rival – and now the Southern Stars are about to embark on their mission for a fourth consecutive trophy in India.

"They’re all quite unique because they were different events," allrounder Ellyse Perry told cricket.com.au.

"You always feel really euphoric after a win. The first one being in the West Indies and being my first World Cup win was really hard to replicate, but very satisfying each of them since as well."

Quick single: How Australia's Group A rivals are shaping up

Before Australia start their campaign against South Africa in Nagpur on Friday, take a moment to look back on their three victories to date – as remembered by Perry and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who along with vice-captain Alex Blackwell, are the only current players to have raised the trophy on all three occasions.

May 16, 2010: Barbados (West Indies)

  Southern Stars 2010
Australia celebrate in 2010 // Getty 
 
 

Result: Australia defeated New Zealand by three runs

Player of the match: Ellyse Perry (3-18)

Australia's 2010 campaign was book-ended by thrillers. First, they overcame England by the narrowest of margins in their opening game in the Caribbean.

Both teams were bowled out for 104. Then, both teams finished 2-6 in their super over.

They were eventually split by the number of sixes scored – Australia's one, courtesy of Jess Cameron, compared to England's none.

From there they advanced through the tournament without a loss, but their final against New Zealand went right down to the wire as the Southern Stars successfully defended 8-106 – thanks to Perry. Or rather, her right foot.

"I guess the memory that sticks out the best is Perry’s boot in the final ball," Healy recalled.

"We obviously didn’t make enough runs and New Zealand looked on track to chase it down."

Under immense pressure, Perry bowled the final ball of the tournament. New Zealand needed five to win, or four to force a super over.

Sophie Devine struck a powerful straight drive – a shot that should have flown down the ground to the boundary - but Perry managed to somehow stick out her right foot and deflect the ball to mid-on, conceding just a single.

"They needed five off the last ball to win and I’ve never seen a ball hit so cleanly – and Sophie Devine hits pretty cleanly as it is - but Pez’s right foot just stuck out there and all I remember after that is Alex Blackwell coming and hugging me,” Healy said.

"So it was a pretty special moment."

WATCH: Southern Stars claim maiden T20 title

For Perry, the way the final played out seemed appropriate, given the fashion in which the tournament began.

"During that tournament as a whole, things tended to pan out for us very well. Maybe that last ball was quite significant of how whole tournament went, with the close things going our way," Perry said.

"It was lovely to be able to celebrate a win on the last ball when it was so close and not being on the wrong side of it."

October 7, 2012: Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  Southern Stars 2012
A special moment in Colombo // Getty
 
 

Result: Australia defeated England by four runs

Player of the match: Jess Cameron (45)

"That was the next evolution for our team in terms of having won the first one, then to be able to back it up and win the next one," Perry said.

"England have been such competitors of ours for so long and it was really great."

In 2012, Australia lost to England during the group stage but when the teams met again in the final it turned into another thrilling finale, with 16 needed from the last over.

It was bowled by off-spinner Erin Osborne to Danielle Hazell and Holly Colvin and had the crowd and fans at home on the edge of their seats.

First came a full toss, followed by a no ball, a dropped catch and a misfield, then a run out as England tried desperately for an impossible second run.

England needed six win with one ball remaining.

Osborne held her nerve and only allowed Hazell a single, handing Australia a four-run victory.

WATCH: Southern Stars go back-to-back

"I think a lot of Twenty20 games end up really tight, especially finals because there’s not much in it between the teams and it’s such a short game so things ebb and flow all the time," Perry said.

"It always felt like we were in a contest and something we've prided ourselves on is winning those tight moments."

April 6, 2014: Mirpur (Bangladesh)

  Southern Stars 2014 final
Triple triumph for Stars // Getty
 
 

Result: Australia defeated England by six wickets

Player of the match: Sarah Coyte (3-16)

After two close finals and given their close rivalry with England, another nail-biter was expected when the teams met in 2014.

However, it was a vastly different story to the previous two tournaments. Meg Lanning won the toss and chose to field, a decision which paid off richly as a dominant performance with the ball restricted England to 8-105 – thanks largely to Sarah Coyte's 3-16 and Perry's 2-13. 

Lanning scored a rapid 44 and while she wasn't able to hit the winning runs – dismissed with two required – her efforts along with Perry's unbeaten 31 ensured the Southern Stars reached their target with 4.5 overs to spare.

"That's probably one of the most complete performances I’ve ever been a part of with the Southern Stars," Perry said.

"To do that on a world stage in the final was really pleasing and I think one of our most dominant matches against England."

WATCH: Australia make it a three-peat

Healy, meanwhile, was merely pleased Perry and No.6 Jess Cameron finished off the run chase for Australia. After Lanning's dismissal, Alex Blackwell followed two balls later – with just one run needed for victory – catching the No.7 on the hop.

"The biggest thing for me from that final would have to be the fact I was padded up in my joggers because I wasn’t expecting to bat," Healy said.

"I was still in my joggers, padded up with Jess Jonassen’s kit – I wasn’t even in the appropriate kit but I was next in to bat – so I was really hoping Pez and Soggy would get the job done and they did."

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