Defending champion Australia seals comprehensive win to line up ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 final clash with England
On another slow and low pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium, Australia’s bowlers gave standout performances to end West Indies’ interest in the tournament at the semi-final stage of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2012. Having survived a few wobbles to post 115 for 7, Australia picked up wickets at opportune moments to ensure that West Indies’ chase never gathered any real momentum. Julie Hunter starred with 3-22 in the 28-run victory, but it was Ellyse Perry, the double international who has also represented the Matildas, that struck the decisive blows, getting rid of Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin.
West Indies had started the match much the better, with Shanel Daley’s arm-ball getting Alyssa Healy two deliveries into the game. Jess Cameron hit Taylor for a six, but three balls after surviving a vociferous leg-before appeal, Daley got her with a delivery that skidded on.
Meg Lanning had looked good on her way to 19, but when Shaquana Quintyne came on, she struck her first delivery straight to the short-cover fielder. Lisa Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell rebuilt the innings with some brisk running and clever placement. Sthalekar looked relatively untroubled during her 23, but when she tried to deposit Tremayne Smartt over the rope at mid-wicket, Shemaine Campbelle ran in and took a superb diving catch. She celebrated Gangnam style for good measure.
Quintyne caught and bowled Blackwell (21) and at 81 for 5, Australia still had much to do. Two wickets fell in Daley’s final over, but Jodie Fields’s cameo of 19 ensured that West Indies would have to chase what Suzie Bates had described as a “winning total” after New Zealand’s loss to England.
West Indies suffered a big setback early in its chase as Perry bowled Stafanie Taylor with a full and straight delivery. Hunter then struck with her second ball, a beautiful out-swinger that trapped Merissa Aguilleira plumb in front. Perry was then brought back for a second spell, and Dottin’s attempt to pull her through mid-wicket saw off-stump pegged back.
When Perry deflected a Juliana Nero drive back on to the stumps, Campbelle too departed, having forgotten to ground her bat. At 28 for 4, it looked like the chase was going nowhere. But Daley and Nero settled down, with Daley playing some lovely strokes through the off-side. The asking rate continued to climb though, especially after Sthalekar conceded just six runs in four overs of probing and accurate off-spin.
The partnership was worth 48, when Blackwell took a sensational tumbling catch at mid-wicket to give Erin Osborne Daley’s wicket. With 38 needed off the final three overs, Hunter returned to disturb Nero’s stumps and give Australia a stranglehold on the match that it would not relinquish. The last six wickets fell for the addition of just 11 runs, setting up an England-Australia final that will see the resumption of women’s cricket’s oldest rivalry.