Playing their seventh consecutive final, Australia rejected South Africa, who were playing their first ever top-flight clash, a fairy tale ending in the presence of a home audience. Instead, the Australian scored a hat-trick of his second title at the T20 World Cup. They previously won the title in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2020.
As it happened: South Africa vs Australia
Opting for the grand final, Australia posted a total of 156 teamfights in their 20 rounds, winning the ‘Player of the Match’ award Beth Mooney‘s unbeaten 74 out of 53 balls. And that turned out to be quite enough for them in the end as South Africa succumbed to the pressure in their chase.
The home team started the chase cautiously, scoring only 17 runs in the first five rounds due to the loss of a racket (Tazmin Brits). South Africa never disputed after that despite a grim half-century from Laura Wolvaardt (61 of 48), and finished well with 137 to 6 in their allotted 20 rounds.
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Opener Wolvaardt played a brave one-handed while catchers repeatedly tumbled on the other end for the home team. Wolvaardt hit five boundaries and three big sixs on her hit.
South Africa lost to the Brits in the fifth round, caught by Tahila McGrath in the middle of the round. McGrath ran back to complete Darcie Brown’s overhead shot. Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp (11) then split 29 runs for the second racket before the latter was caught by Brown from Ashleigh Gardner’s bowling match.
Some time later, South Africa was even more miserable when captain Sune Luus fell into an unexpected run out to drop to 54th place to eat 3 out of 10.4 rounds.
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As the runs dried up, Wolvaardt tried his best to take the lead after a full Megan Schutt serve, only to miss it and be tried for LBW. The batter, South Africa’s last hope, went for the test but failed as Australia almost decided the fate of the match.
Left-arm orthodox gyroscope Jess Jonassen then occupied Chloe Tryon (19) in the next inning before Anneke Bosch ran out of the ball afterwards to dash South Africa’s slim hopes.
Choosing to hit the stick, Australia lost to Alyssa Healy (18) early, caught by Nadine De Klerk after Marizanne Kapp’s bowling (2/35) in the fifth round.
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After that, Ashleigh Gardner (29 of 21) shook hands with Mooney and the pair’s 46 runs for the pair’s second racket settled into the innings before the former was brilliantly caught by South Africa captain Sune Luus. in the bowling match of left-hander Chloe-Lesleigh Tryon.
But Mooney ran her business quickly and sent bad deliveries to the fence to keep the scoreboard going.
Grace Harris tried to increase the scoring rate but was saved by left-hander Nonkululeko Mlaba 14 minutes into the game as the hitter rammed a shot across the perpendicular touchline.
This is the sixth #T20WorldCup Women’s title for Australia ✨They successfully defended 156 to beat South Africa… https://t.co/dGg7RIjnbi
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Next, captain Meg Lanning showed intent from the start, scoring her first run from a boundary across the points area before being brilliantly caught by Tyron in the deep square foot to the back of the bowling alley. Kapp.
However, Mooney remained undeterred as she continued to strengthen Australia’s rounds, pushing the boundaries with ease.
Even with Mooney holding steady on one end, the players continued to tumble at the other end as Australia struggled to find the line at the end of the half.
South Africa brilliantly pulled things back towards the end of the half by picking up regular hits with Mooney still stuck on the other end.
South African rider Shabnim Ismail (February 26) played a key role in limiting Australia, winning back-to-back runs from Ellyse Perry and Georgia Wareham. She scored a rare hat-trick in the final but Tahlia McGrath denied Ismail’s feat, successfully managing a final serve of the half.
(With input from PTI)