Champion Australia team with the Tri-series trophy. © Southern Stars

The hosts India were out of the contention of the race for the finals after three consecutive defeats. It was Australia and England who had made their way to the finals. Both teams had beaten each other once in the league stage before their clash in the finals.

The English side got another setback when Heather Knight, their skipper was ruled out of the finals due to a hamstring injury with Danielle Hazell captaining the side in her absence. England opted to invite the Australians to bat first after winning the toss.

Healy-Gardner provide breezy start after an early blow

Australia’s start was thumped in the first over itself when a returning Mooney was plumbed before the wicket for naught by Natasha Farrant. However, Ashleigh Gardner along with the wicket-keeper batter Alyssa Healy did not miss the chance to take the full advantage of the fielding restrictions.

Ecclestone offered two full-toss deliveries in 3 balls to Gardner who didn’t miss out the opportunity in sending them over the ropes. It was Nat Sciver with more gifts for Gardner in the next over, as she pummeled two consecutive boundaries off the over. Skipper Hazell took the responsibility upon herself but Healy had other things in mind as she collected a couple of fours in the over to complete the team fifty in the last over of the powerplay.

Gunn to the rescue

The 7th over of the game saw Gardner pulling a short ball straight to the fielder who leaps in the air a bit and helps the ball go over the boundary. The next over from Gunn brought relief for the English side. Gunn removed both the openers in the span of 3 balls to bring England back in the game.

Record-breaking stand between Lanning and Villani

The in-form duo of Lanning and Villani came to the crease after two quick wickets. After playing a couple of overs cautiously, the two decided to break free. Davidson-Richards had the ball to deliver the 11th over. Well, she didn’t return to bowl another after this one as Lanning tore her apart with 4 boundaries in the over. Farrant’s next over, with three boundaries, came from this over as Australians took control.

Villani started her innings calmly but seeing Lanning bat like that probably made her go bonkers as well as she hit 3 consecutive fours in the 14th over. Lanning brought her half-century in the next over collecting 3 more boundaries in the 16th over. Lanning continued the onslaught while Villani got to her 50 a couple in the 19th over. The 139-run stand between the two was broken in the final over of the innings when Villani tried to steal a quick single. Australia racked up 209 runs (the record for the highest score in Women’s T20I) in the 20 overs with skipper Lanning unbeaten on 88 runs off just 45 deliveries that included 16 fours and a six.

Poor start to the run chase for England

Danielle Wyatt started the innings with a boundary. But a poor judgement of a single caused England a wicket next ball as Bryony Smith departed on a diamond duck. Next over from Perry saw Beaumont going for a glory with the first ball, only ending up edging the ball to Healy.

Wyatt looked threatening when she smashed a couple of boundaries of Kimmince but she couldn’t hold herself going for the third only to be pouched by Aussie skipper Lanning at extra cover. Sciver along with Amy Jones and Fran Wilson tried to present some resistance but the ever-increasing asking rate didn’t help their cause.

Sciver’s wicket in the 17th over meant that England’s chance of winning the game was nearly over. It was Gardner who earlier in the day had started the onslaught on the bowlers removed Sciver to bring down the curtains on England’s chances. Megan Schutt‘s double-wicket eventually left England fall short by 57 runs.