The Australian women’s T20 cricket team have defeated host nation the West Indies in Antigua to reach the final of the World T20 tournament. The Aussies batted first on a slow, turning pitch and did well to reach 142, with Alyssa Healy top scoring for 46. Rachel Haynes came in late with some explosive power hitting as well, smashing 25 not out from 15 balls to elevate the total.
The West Indies were capable of reaching the target, but they never got going and eventually fell to be all out on 71 with three and a half overs to go. Despite only bowling 2 overs as she was saved for the final chase, Ellyse Perry was the pick of the bowlers. She bowled a maiden (the only one of the match) took 2 wickets and only conceded 2 runs off her opening spell.
Healy, who was in doubt for the match after a concussion against India earlier in the week, was named player of the match for her efforts. As wicketkeeper she added a run out, a catch and a stumping to her efforts with the bat, and she is one of the favourites to take out player of the tournament.
The comprehensive victory was the perfect comeback after a shock loss to India in the final pool match earlier in the week. Apart from that result Australia have been in imperious form with both bat and ball, and will take a lot of confidence into Monday’s final.
Reaching the final, along with the men’s win over India in Brisbane, will help to restore confidence in Australian cricket after a disastrous year (particularly for the men). Winning the whole tournament will make it clear that Cricket Australia’s cultural problems are confined to the men’s team.
Australia will play either India or England in the final, depending on the match that is being played at the time of writing. England and Australia were the favourites for the tournament, but each stumbled in the pool stages to only progress in second place. Now that Australia has righted their ship, England will hope to do the same.