World Cup

West Indies women bring Aussies back to earth

The exuberant Caribbean celebrations were back on the cricket field as the West Indian women declared themselves the best in the world.

On Sunday, West Indies convincingly outsmarted the seemingly invincible Australians to win the maiden ICC World T20 women’s title here at the Eden Gardens.

The Caribbean women, fired by a brilliant 66 from opener Hayley Matthews, gave a fine display of discipline and talent to outplay the champion of the previous three editions by eight wickets in the final.

Australia captain Meg Lanning won the toss and opted to bat on a hot and humid afternoon. The skipper thought that the pitch, which had a tinge of grass, would be easier for stroke-making.

Disciplined bowling

But a disciplined bowling by the West Indian spinners pegged the Australians back for most of the occasion. The Southern Stars could manage only 148 for five, giving West Indies a moderate target on a surface that offered even bounce and slow turn.

West Indies started with spin and found success in the second over when Alyssa Healy offered a straight forward catch to Matthews.

Matthews bowled a few full-tosses, unable to get the length and Healy departed miss-hitting the last full toss of the over.

The two captains expressed surprise at the presence of grass on the pitch after the toss and West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor seemed to have read the surface right by suggesting that the grass is “deceiving”.

The wicket did afford slow turn and the spinners, off-spinner Anisa Mohammed and leg-break bowler Shaquana Quintyne, made the Aussie batters struggle for runs.

The Australians were helped by two good partnerships in the beginning with Elyse Villani and captain Lanning (52, 49b, 8x4) stitching a 77-run partnership in 60 balls for the second wicket.

After Villani got out making a well-constructed 52 (37b, 9x4) at the score of 92, Lanning got together in a 42-run partnership with Ellyse Perry (28) to push the score to 134 by the 18th over.

But the Australians could not do much, failing to tackle the West Indian bowlers who stuck to their task. The last over by Deandra Dottin fetched just one run and two wickets as the Australian fumbled in the end.

Australia, which was eyeing its fourth successive World T20 title, was taken off its intended path by Matthews who seemed to take a leaf out of the book of her counterpart in the men’s team, Chris Gayle.

The opener hit six boundaries and three big sixes to take the wind out of the Australians’ sails. Matthews shared a record partnership of 120 runs with captain Taylor, who scored a responsible 59 off 57 balls, to set the foundation for the win.

The scores:

Australia: Alyssa Healy c & b Matthews 4 ( 5b), Elyse Villani c Taylor b Dottin 52 ( 37b, 9x4), Meg Lanning lbw b Anisa Mohammed 52 ( 49b, 8x4), Ellyse Perry lbw b Dottin 28 ( 23b, 2x6), Alex Blackwell (not out) 3 ( 5b), Erin Osborne run out 0 ( 1b), Jess Jonassen (not out) 0 ( 0b); Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-3): 9; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 148.

Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Healy), 2-92 (Villani), 3-134 (Lanning), 4-147 (Perry), 5-147 (Osborne).

West Indies bowling: Shamilia Connell 2-0-15-0, Hayley Matthews 2-0-13-1, Stafanie Taylor 3-0-26-0, Deandra Dottin 4-0-33-2, Afy Fletcher 1-0-9-0, Anisa Mohammed 4-0-19-1, Shaquana Quintyne 4-0-27-0.

West Indies: Hayley Matthews c Blackwell b Beams 66 ( 45b, 6x4, 3x6), Stafanie Taylor c Jonassen b Farrell 59 ( 57b, 6x4), Deandra Dottin (not out) 18 ( 12b, 2x4), Britney Cooper (not out) 3 ( 3b); Extras (lb-2, w-1): 3; Total (for two wkts. in 19.3 overs): 149.

Fall of wickets: 1-120 (Matthews), 2-144 (Taylor).

Australia bowling: Jess Jonassen 4-0-26-0, Ellyse Perry 3.3-0-27-0, Megan Schutt 3-0-26-0, Rene Farrell 4-0-35-1, Kristen Beams 4-0-27-1, Erin Osborne 1-0-6-0.

Toss: Australia

Player-of-the-match: Hayley Matthews.

West Indies won by eight wickets with three balls remaining .

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 3:07:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/womens-world-t20-final-west-indies-women-bring-aussies-back-to-earth/article8429729.ece

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