Windies end Aussie domination to win maiden title
In a historic first, the West Indies women’s cricket team ended three-time defending champions Australia’s domination by winning the ICC World T20 title with an emphatic eight-wicket victory in the final here on Sunday.
The foundation of the successful chase was laid by a 120-run partnership by openers Hayley Matthews (66 off 45) and skipper Stafanie Taylor (59 off 57), who helped the team chase a stiff target of 149.
The moment the West Indies reached the target courtesy an overthrow, the entire dugout jumped in joy as the team joined the two not out batswomen, Britney Cooper and Deandra Dottin, in the middle.
What made the celebrations more special was the men’s team, led by captain Darren Sammy, bowling coach Curtley Ambrose and all-rounder Andre Russell joined everyone in congratulating the girls.
The girls, as promised to Dwayne Bravo, danced to the beats of the all-rounder’s latest rap compilation ‘Champion’.
It was also the West Indies’ first win over Australia in nine T20 Internationals.
Hayley was the star of their chase with a career-best innings, while Stafanie continued her sublime form with a solid knock.
After Hayley holed out at the midwicket in the 16th over, the West Indies needed 29 from 26 balls and the equation went down to 14 from the last 2 overs but the experienced Dottin made sure the team got home comfortably.
With three needed from the last over, Dottin took a single to give the strike to Cooper who ran a quick single and Aussies narrowly missed the stump as they complete the winning run from the overthrow.
Captain Meg Lanning (52) and opener Elyse Villani (52) scored brisk half-centuries before the West Indies fought back at the end to restrict three-time defending champions Australia to 148 for five. Villani set up the tempo with her 37-ball innings and shared a 77-run partnership off 60 balls with Lanning, who continued her good run with second successive fifty.
The West Indies medium pacer Dottin bowled a superb last over with three dot balls and removed Ellyse Perry (28 off 23) and Erin Osborne (0) in successive deliveries to restrict the Southern Stars to an under 150 total.
Ellyse was looking dangerous with two huge sixes but Dottin ensured that the Australia did not do much damage in the last over as they could muster only 36 runs from the last five overs, which proved to be the difference.
From being nine for no loss in the first three overs, the West Indies were quiet at the start with Hayley looking dormant with two runs from eight balls. In the next over, Hayley stepped on the gas taking charge on Rene Farrell with two boundaries and in the next over she smacked Schutt over midwicket for a huge six.
But the massive turnaround came in the last over of Powerplay when Stafanie too joined in the act with two boundaries after Hayely’s step-out six as they raced to 45 for no loss.
The duo looked total control in their innings punishing only the loose deliveries as West Indies looked thoroughly professional in their chase.
Stafanie was happy to rotate the strike while Hayely went on the rampage as the Southern Stars bowled too wide and full.
Hayley completed her maiden half-century in 35 balls with a six and boundary against Jess Jonassen.
Earlier, opting to bat after winning a crucial toss in hot and sultry conditions, Australia were off to a flying start with Villani taking charge after her opening partner Alyssa Healy (4) got out in a soft dismissal. Villani raced to her second fifty and eighth overall in T20Is in 34 balls while Lanning was sensible at the start.
But after her partner’s departure, the skipper broke free with her perfect timing all around the field.
Lanning was a joy to watch as she completed her second successive half-century.
West Indies used six bowlers midway into the Australian innings but struggled to break the partnerships.
Brief Score: Australia Women 148/5 (20/20 overs) West Indies Women 149/2 (19.3/20 overs): West Indies Women won by 8 wickets.