NORTH SOUND (Antigua), November 25: Australia have won their fourth Women’s World Twenty20 championship after cruising to an eightwicket victory over England in the final on Saturday.
Spinners Ashleigh Gardner and Georgia Wareham took five wickets between them to limit England to a lowly 105 off 19.4 overs, before Gardener led Australia’s chase as it reached its target of 106 with 29 balls to spare.
It was Australia’s fourth World Twenty20 title after winning three successive tournaments in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
“We did not have our best day in the field, but the bowlers did a good job,” captain Meg Lanning said. “Wareham today was outstanding with the direct hit and her control with the bowling was excellent.”
Despite an enterprising 43 off 37 balls by England’s opener Danielle Wyatt, it was a difficult day for the 2009 champions as it lost wickets at regular intervals, despite Australia’s sloppy fielding.
Offspinner Gardner (3-22) claimed both Wyatt and England captain Heather Knight, who made 25 off 28 balls while trying to anchor a faltering innings.
Allrounder Ellyse Perry, who had a mixed day in the field, took her 100th Twenty20 international wicket when she had Nat Sciver trapped in front of the stumps for one. Perry is only the second player and first Australian to reach the milestone.
Teenage legspinner Wareham (2-11) snared two wickets and also completed a run out to remove England’s Amy Jones for four.
Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney (14) got Australia’s innings off to a flyer with a 29-run opening stand, before Healy was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone for 22 of 20 balls, with four boundaries.
Player of the match Gardner (33 not out) and Lanning (28 not out) later combined for an unbeaten 62-run partnership to guide Australia to its fourth world title with nearly five overs remaining, and erase memories of its painful defeat to the West Indies in the final two years ago.
Healy was named Player of the Tournament for her 225 runs at an average of 56.25, including two half-centuries. (AP)