By Kushan Sarkar
Colombo: Oct 7, 2012
Australian women became the first team to retain the World Twenty20 title after edging out their English counterparts by a narrow four runs in a thrilling summit clash on Sunday.
Put into bat, Australia put up a competitive 142 for four in 20 overs with almost all the batswoman getting runs. Jess Cameron with 45 was the top scorer but openers Meg Lanning (25), Alyssa Healey (26) and Lisa Sthalekar (23 not out) all chipped in with useful contributions.
In reply, England could manage 138 for nine as Australian bowlers got wickets at regular intervals.
The Australians thus became the first team -- male or female -- to retain the ICC World Twenty20 trophy.
Needing 16 of the last over, England managed only 11 runs off spinner Erin Osborne's over. England needed an over boundary of the last delivery but could manage a single as girls in canary yellow celebrated enthusiastically.
In a big ground like Premadasa (although boundaries were shortened), chasing a target of 143 is an uphill task in women's cricket.
Although skipper Edwards showed positive intent but once she was dismissed for 28, the other batswomen could hardly make any impact.
They did get the boundaries but couldn't stay long enough to get a decisive result in their favour.
Australia had not exhibited any decisive individual performances until today but peaked at the right time. They got off to an excellent start as openers Lanning and Healy put on a devastating opening partnership of 51, scoring at a run a ball until the former was caught and bowled by Holly Colvin for 25.
Healy continued the charge until being out second, bowled by Danielle Hazell in the eleventh over for 26 with the score on 68.
But the real batting power was supplied by Cameron, who came in at number three and smashed the England bowlers around the park, scoring five fours and the first six of the final.
She was joined at the crease by Lisa Sthalekar and the two put on another 51-run partnership. But, it was the 15th over of the Australia innings that might have been the most decisive, as Cameron plundered 17 off Anya Shrubsole.
When Cameron departed off the first ball of the next over, Australia were already on their way to an imposing score.
Alex Blackwell made a brief cameo, scoring 13 before being run out on the last ball, leaving Australia on 142 for four from their 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Colvin was the pick of the England bowlers, taking two wickets for 21 runs.(PTI)
Brief Scores: Australia Women 142 for 4 in 20 overs (Jess Cameron 45, Alyssa Healy 26, Meg Lanning 25, Lisa Sthalekar 23*; Holly Colvin 2 for 21) bt England Women 138 for 9 in 20 overs (Charlotte Edwards 28, Jenny Gunn 19; Jess Jonassen 3 for 25, Lisa Sthalekar 2 for 16) by 4 runs.
Man of the Match: Jess Cameron