Australia won the Women’s T20 World Cup for the fourth time with a comfortable eight-wicket win over England in Antigua.
Ashleigh Gardner had three sixes in six balls and combined with captain Meg Lanning for a partnership of 62 to see the Southern Stars reach their target of 106 with 29 balls to spare, reports agencies.
England won the toss and opted to bat first but were bowled out for 105 in 19.4 overs. Danielle Wyatt top-scored for England with 44 off 37 balls and captain Heather Knight was the only other player to reach double figures as she was dismissed for 25.
England set out with intent as Wyatt clubbed a four and a six in the first over off Sophie Molineux and had a stroke of luck as she was dropped in the third by Alyssa Healy – one of a number of Australian fielding mistakes. Tamsin Beaumont was the first wicket to tumble, caught for four off Megan Schutt, and Georgia Wareham showed off her prowess in the field with a direct-hit which drew Amy Jones’ innings to a close for four. England reached the mid-point of their innings on 57 for three with Wyatt and Knight at bat, but the pair could only muster a 23-run partnership as the former was caught at cover. Two wickets in two balls for Wareham left England on 74 for six and Australia mopped up the final three wickets in 11 balls for six runs.
Healy opened for Australia and was playing with precision and power, but mistimed an Ecclestone delivery as she went back to the pavilion for 22. England hopes rose when Beth Mooney was caught for 14 off Danielle Hazell with their opponents needing 62 runs from 13 overs. But Lanning and Gardner kept the scoreboard ticking over and the run-rate in check, both peppering the boundary. Gardner sent a full toss from Knight to the rope in the 12th over, then had two more off Kirstie Gordon as Australia looked to finish with a flourish.
Knight said after the game: “Danielle Wyatt started brilliantly. We wanted to put runs on the board, we knew there’d be dew. “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. “We came with a lot of inexperience. Some of them have sat up brilliantly. Ecclestone bowled brilliantly, Gordon has been real find, and it’s been a great experience for them. The support has been amazing, singing and dancing.”