Windies Women win first T20 World Cup
KOLKATA, India (CMC):
Teenager Hayley Matthews and captain Stafanie Taylor fashioned half-centuries as West Indies Women produced a superb run chase to beat three-time defending champions Australia Women by eight wickets and lift their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup title here yesterday.
Set 149 for victory at the historic Eden Gardens, West Indies Women reached their target with three balls to spare, with the 18-year-old Matthews top-scoring with 66 from 45 balls and the in-form Taylor getting 59 from 57 balls.
The pair put on a magnificent 120 for the first wicket to take Australia Women out of the contest and even when Matthews fell in the 16th over, Deandra Dottin (18 not out) joined Taylor to add 24 for the second wicket to keep the Caribbean side on top.
West Indies Women entered the final over requiring three to win and Dottin reduced the target even further with a single to cover off seamer Ellyse Perry.
Britney Cooper, who finished on three not out, failed to score off the next delivery, but took off for a suicide single off the third ball. The fielder at short midwicket missed a direct hit at the bowler's end that would have seen Cooper on her way and the resulting overthrow handed West Indies Women the crucial win.
The result sparked scenes of jubilation across the outfield as the remainder of the women's team, along with members of the men's team, ran on to the ground to celebrate.
"I am (on top of the world). I've been waiting for this for a long time," an elated Taylor said afterwards.
"I think it has actually come at the right time because we've played some fantastic cricket today. We didn't get the start that we wanted with the ball, but I think the batting gave us the edge."
Matthews, who struck six fours and three sixes to post her maiden T20 International half-century, was voted Player of the Match, while Taylor was adjudged Player of the Tournament for her 246 runs overall.
Earlier, Australia Women captain Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani both struck 52 to get the title favourites up to 148 for five off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first.
Alyssa Healy fell cheaply for four at 15 for one in the second over when she tapped a low return catch to off-spinner Matthews, but Lanning and Villani put on 77 for the second wicket to rally the innings.
Lanning faced 49 balls and gathered eight fours, while opener Villani counted nine fours in her 37-ball innings.
"We probably did not get the result that we wanted, but congratulations to West Indies for the way they batted," Lanning said. "We felt we were a little short, 160 would have been nice. But if we had bowled well we would have defended."