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Before the West Indies won the World Twenty20

by Bored Guest

Australia won the Women's World Twenty20

This was the first time that England and Australia Women had met in a world cup final for 24 years, and it had all the portents of a battle royal. Australia had derived a boost of self-belief from their recent dramatic win in the last over against New Zealand; England had a rigid plan proven by many victories. After winning the toss, England women’s strategy of putting the opposition in to bat first and then chasing with their best six batters backfired when Australia’s opening pair made 47 without loss in the power play. 

Lanning picked up the line of the England pace and spin attack early, and she and Healy found gaps in the field to score seven boundaries in the first six overs. Lanning was finally out for 25, giving a return catch to Holly Colbin who flighted a beautiful delivery. Healy was finally bowled by Hazell for 26. England had not encountered such a clever and precise onslaught of hitting so early on in the innings in previous matches.

England obviously looked nervous and shell-shocked in their fielding as a result. This was particularly evident in the fourteenth over when the evidence was beginning to mount incontrovertibly that this was going to be a big target to chase. Australia were 92 for 2, and in control, as England started to bowl slow lobs that Australia hit easily away. In one over , player -of- the- match- Cameron hit a powerful six to midwicket, then a scoop shot over the wicketkeeper’s head, and finally holed out on 45 at long off, caught by Gunn off Colvin.

England finally managed to slow them down, but the damage had been done. Australia Women finished on 142 for 4 off their 20 overs.

England needed to start urgently in their reply and Edwards hit the first ball for four, but the powerplay turned out to be a quiet affair with mainly dot balls and the occasional boundary. They lost Laura Marsh who finally popped a ball back to be caught and bowled by Hunter for 8. The England powerplay finished at 34 for 1 after six overs.

Edwards was just getting set when she lofted a ball from Sthalekar to Perry at mid-on for a restrained 28. Sarah Taylor, the ranked number one World Women’s batter, used her skill to get down the pitch. 

However, she attacked down the wrong line to chase an outswinger, giving wicketkeeper Fields a catch. By the end of the tenth over, the top three England batters had gone with the score on 61 for 3.

Although Australia had fewer spinners than England, the ball began to turn more for them as the evening drew on. Greenway tried to force the rate but was caught by Perry at midwicket from the left arm spin of Jonassen for only 4. England were not able to penetrate the field in the fifteenth over and Danielle Wyatt was dismissed off the bowling of Jonassen from a splendid catch completed by Blackwell close to the ground.

England thus needed 42 off the last four overs. Brunt tried to hit out but was also bowled by the spin of Jonassen.

Jenny Gunn brought England back into the game with some quick hitting, but was caught at fine leg off Hunter by Jonassen who had been brought up into the ring.

16 were needed from the last over, the highest off any in the England innings. A single; then a high no ball yielding three runs; and an extra ball which produced a dropped catch and a run; then a two; then another two. This left 7 required off the last two balls or six for a tie. Colvin sacrificed her wicket by trying to run for a second in a desperate run to get Hazell back on strike. From the remaining ball, with a six required, only a single could be scored.

Though England lost this match, they still hold the 50-overs championship title and will defend it next year in India.

In conclusion, this was a tremendous celebration of what women can do on a cricket field. The ICC expects a million females to be playing the game by 2015. Already 8 out of the top 10 teams are now on professional contracts, and the ICC has a target of 100 international matches to be played across the globe in the next four years. 

By Stuart Larner

Stuart is a chartered psychologist, and was mental health expert for XL for Men magazine. He writes plays, poems, and stories. He is a cricket enthusiast in North Yorkshire, UK. His latest ebook “Guile and Spin” is available on Amazon  It was reviewed on BCC! here


Lovely said...

To all those who think India didn't do well in this tournament.... India lost fewer matches than any other team in this tournament, and has the best win/loss ratio. But the Irony is they couldn't even qualify for the semi-final due to an unwritten understanding between Australia and Pakistan. It would have been a fitting final had India played West Indies in the final.

Cricket Online said...

Can't believe the English women lost the final again. They must be gutted, they are turning into the woman's version of the South African men's team #Chokers :)