Australia justified their pre-tournament favourites status by lifting the ICC Women’s World Cup Trophy for the sixth time with a 114-run drubbing of West Indies, who folded meekly against a clinical Australian outfit, with their hopes of a fairytale finish in their first World Cup final appearance dashed. Australia thus reclaimed the crown after eight years, having last won it in 2005.
Australia’s win was set up by a good batting effort led by Jess Cameron’s belligerent 75 (76 balls) that took the team to 259 for 7 after Jode Fields, the captain, had won the toss and opted to bat on Sunday (February 17) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
West Indies gifted wickets away on a platter, to be dismissed for 145 in 43.1 overs, with Ellye Perry’s early strikes setting the tone when Australia bowled. Perry, who had missed the previous three matches with an ankle injury, took 3 for 19 from ten overs, to go with an unbeaten 25 (22 balls) that propped Australia up in the final overs.
Perry came into the attack in the ninth over after Megan Shutt and Julie Hunter, the new-ball pair, had kept things under control. She bowled a miserly first spell of six overs, picking up three wickets and yielding only eight runs. Kycia Knight was her first victim, trapped leg before wicket in a wicket-maiden, and soon after she had Stafanie Taylor edging the ball to Meg Lanning in the slips. However, Taylor was ruled not out since it wasn’t clear if the ball had carried. Perry wasn’t denied for long, with Taylor popping an easy return catch to Perry three balls later.
West Indies never really looked in the chase taking 106 balls to bring up fifty runs, which was in stark contrast to Australia’s innings with the first 50 runs raised in 58 balls. West Indies briefly looked like mounting a comeback when Merissa Aguilleira, the captain, and Deandra Dottin added 31 runs off 27 balls for the fourth wicket. With her big hitting prowess Dottin, who came in to bat after Kyshona Knight retired hurt after being hit by a Perry delivery, entertained the crowd with some brilliant shots, but couldn’t stay for long, perishing to Lisa Sthalekar’s guile.
There was no further resistance from West Indies, with wickets tumbling in quick succession as the match headed Australia’s way. Schutt, ended with figures of 2 for 38, to become the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, with 15 scalps.
Australia’s total was built around useful contributions at the top of the order by Meg Lenning and Rachael Haynes and late fireworks by Fields and Perry in addition to Cameron’s sterling knock.
They got off to a flying start as Lanning (31) and Haynes (52) exploited the flat deck that was being used for the first time in the tournament. Along the way Lanning got a slice of luck when she was dropped by Anisa Mohammed on 21.
Australia were pulled back from what looked likely to be a score in excess of 280 thanks to Shaquana Quintyne’s strikes in the middle-overs, that saw Australia’s middle-order stutter.
Lanning brought up Australia’s 50 in the ninth over with a lofted drive over extra cover but perished to Stafanie Taylor off the next delivery when she attempted a repeat of the shot.
Post Lanning’s exit, Cameron led the assault, with runs against spinners and seamers alike. Untroubled for most part of their stand, Cameron and Haynes added 64 runs in 90 balls with Haynes bringing up her sixth One-Day International fifty. Soon thereafter, Quintyne elicited a top edge from Haynes that was smartly taken by Kyshona Knight at midwicket. Two overs later, a bowling change saw Tremayne Smartt dismiss Alex Blackwell, who was playing her 100th ODI.
Unfazed by the fall of wickets at the other end, Cameron continued to attack as she launched the first six of the Australian innings off Smartt in the 29th over. Three deliveries later, Cameron struck again making the most of Smartt’s full length delivery and sending it across the fence.
However, the West Indies’ bowlers pulled things back, making up for a sloppy fielding display early on, as Australia lost Sarah Coyte, Lisa Sthalekar and Erin Osborne within six overs. With West Indies gaining momentum, Fields and Perry wrested the advantage back with an unbroken, quickfire partnership, adding 50 runs in 40 balls for the eighth wicket.
In the end, the combined might of Australia’s batters and the efficiency of their bowlers ensured a thumping victory.