In this post I look at the semi-finals and final of the Women’s World T20 Cup in South Africa.
AUSTRALIA V INDIA
I was at work when this match was played, so my knowledge of it is entirely second/ third hand. Australia won by five runs, and there appear to have been two key moments in the chase – Harmanpreet Kaur being run out due to a failure to ground her bat properly when coming back for a second and a brilliant piece of fielding by Ellyse Perry which saved a seemingly certain boundary.
SOUTH AFRICA V ENGLAND
No South African side, male or female, had ever reached a world cup final in either T20 or ODI cricket. England were unbeaten in the tournament and have plentiful experience of finals. SA posted a very respectable score. Katherine Sciver-Brunt playing her last ICC tournament had a terrible time in the field. After viciously upbraiding several of her team mates for perceived lapses she had a horror time bowling the 20th over, conceding 18 from it, which lifted SA into the 160s. This did not seem to matter when Dunkley and Wyatt made a blazing start to the chase, putting England ahead of the required rate, but the fall of wickets and a quiet spell spanning overs 9-15 inclusive turned the game South Africa’s way, and although England fought back hard in the closing stages South Africa won by six runs and thus claimed a place in the final.
SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA
With the hosts in the final Newlands was absolutely jam packed. Unsurprisingly both teams picked the same XIs that had won their respective semi-finals. Australia won the toss and batted. SA bowled well, but not quite well enough, and aided by a big final over Australia posted 156 from their 20 overs. SA started slowly and although Laura Wolvaardt (who overtook Natalie Sciver-Brunt to become the tournament’s leading run scorer in the course of her 61 off 48 balls) and Chloe Tryon staged a mid-innings revival that briefly hinted at making a serious challenge for the runs, Australia were just too good. In the end the margin was 19 runs. This was a sixth T20 World Cup for the Australian women, a 13th global trophy in all for them, and the fifth time that Meg Lanning had captained a side to a world cup victory (no one else of either sex has achieved this feat more than twice). South Africa had fought hard, and to the credit of the fans Newlands remained full right to the end even though the result was obvious some way before it was officially confirmed. Much more will be heard of this South African squad in the future, and it took the most dominant cricket team on the planet (either sex) to stop them in their tracks this time round.
My usual sign off…