Women's cricket: England pay price for slow start as Aussies retain their World Twenty20 title


R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

For almost two years England's women have dominated Twenty20 cricket. They came to the World Cup as huge favourites and spent a fortnight demonstrating precisely why.

But a sequence of 30 matches in which they suffered only two defeats and four consecutive victories in this competition counted for nothing yesterday. In a stirring, if error-riddled contest, it was Australia who prevailed by four runs in the final to retain their title.

England hung on until the very end, refusing to concede what looked to be the inevitable for most of their pursuit. Australia made slightly too many runs, England lost too many wickets and simply had too much to do.

Needing 23 from the final two overs with only two wickets in hand to overhaul their opponents' 142 for 4, England swung and run and harried. There was hope even with a ball left and six wanted but Danielle Hazell, Durham's finest, could not manage the elevation on the leg-side full toss that came her way.

Australia were jubilant, aware that they had pulled off a coup of considerable proportions. They had lost to England in the group stages, failing to defend a total of 147, but despite dropping three catches they were always in control of this tie.

Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, said: "Australia were better than us today. We were under par with the ball and the first six overs were probably the difference. Our lack of discipline up front really cost us."

It should be of no small consolation to Edwards and her colleagues, as well as the triumphant Australians, that the match was a gripping and entertaining affair.

There had been too many predictable encounters in the women's competition before this and it needed a match which was not only close but provided a showcase for the undoubted skills that the top female cricketers possess.

That it did both can only encourage the growth of the game not only in England but the rest of the world. If there were too many lapses in the field and more poor strokes than a match of this status merited that is also, conversely, the nature of finals and perhaps of T20. Equally, there was plenty for a global television audience to enjoy and to admire. This included clever use of angles, the occasional spectacular intervention in the field and a determination to see it through.

Oh and for those who like a bit of biff, bang, wallop in their T20 there were three sixes, two of them to England.

"I've just said to the Australian girls that I'd much rather play in a final like that, with six wanted off the final ball and with some of the shots we saw out there, it was a great spectacle for the women's game," said Edwards. "It's disappointing now but when I look back on it a few weeks time I hope I'll be very proud."

England appeared to be consumed by nerves at the start. Their ground fielding was hesitant and their bowling too short and wide. It allowed Australia to romp away with a series of boundaries. Katherine Brunt, the Yorkshire fast bowler, appeared to be overwhelmed by the occasion.

"They didn't seem nervous in the dressing room," said Edwards. "I didn't pick up on it but it probably did show a little bit too much."

Australia's first wicket put on 51 off 41 balls and it was a surprise when Meg Lanning chipped a return catch to the left-arm spinner Holly Colvin in her first over. When the other opener, Alyssa Healy, was bowled essaying a pull shot, Jess Cameron ensured that Australia continued to rattle along. Cameron followed a six over cow corner – it travelled 70 metres – with a deft reverse scoop.

She and Lisa Sthalaker put on 51 off 36 balls. It was Cameron who was to pick up the player-of-the-match award but Sthalaker, who added two wickets in four parsimonious overs to her assertive unbeaten 23 off 26 balls, must have run her mighty close.

For England to win, it seemed as though one of their two best batsmen, Edwards or Sarah Taylor, had to play a substantial innings. In the event both flattered to deceive.

Edwards played her usual role of hitting early boundaries and, although Australia blocked off a favoured scoring area square on the off side, she found mid-wicket to her liking and was cruising along. When she-under clubbed to be caught at wide mid-wicket it was over to the richly-gifted Taylor.

She too looked in splendid form but in Australia there is a belief that if they want a wicket they merely have to ask the fast bowler, Ellyse Perry. Duly summoned, she bowled a tempting away swinger at which Taylor aimed a drive, only to edge a catch behind.

It was a shot that did not need to be played with so many overs left but Taylor doubtless fell prey to the demands of the scoreboard. From that moment on it seemed that England were destined to lose, but somehow they kept the target in sight. Jenny Gunn played a breezy innings and, when she hit a six down the ground, realistic hope stirred again.

Hazell was also not to be daunted and when Australia had the line in sight they almost froze. A no-ball in the final over was immediately followed by the dropping of a sitter. It was Australia's turn to hang on and deservedly they did.


Australia win by four runs

Colombo scoreboard

(One Day): Australia Women beat England Women by four runs

Australia Women won toss


M M Lanning c & b Colvin 25

24 balls 4 fours

A J Healy b Hazell 26

25 balls 3 fours

J E Cameron c Gunn b Colvin 45

34 balls 1 six 5 fours

L C Sthalekar not out 23

26 balls 1 four

A J Blackwell run out 13

12 balls 1 four

Extras (lb1 w8 nb1) 10

Total (for 4, 20 overs) 142

Fall: 1-51, 2-68, 3-119, 4-142.

Did Not Bat: *†J M Fields, R L Haynes, E A Osborne, J L Hunter, E A Perry, J L Jonassen.

Bowling: K H Brunt 2-0-20-0, D Hazell 4-0-23-1, D N Wyatt 3-0-20-0, A Shrubsole 3-0-31-0, H L Colvin 4-0-21-2, L A Marsh 4-0-26-0.


*C M Edwards c Perry b Sthalekar 28

23 balls 1 six 4 fours

L A Marsh c & b Hunter 8

14 balls 2 fours

†S J Taylor c Fields b Perry 19

16 balls 2 fours

L S Greenway c Hunter b Jonassen 4

10 balls

A Brindle b Sthalekar 13

12 balls 2 fours

D N Wyatt c Blackwell b Jonassen 9

10 balls

J L Gunn c Jonassen b Hunter 19

14 balls 1 six 1 four

K H Brunt b Jonassen 3

4 balls

D Hazell not out 16

13 balls 1 four

H L Colvin run out 8

5 balls 1 four

A Shrubsole not out 0

0 balls

Extras (b2 lb2 w6 nb1) 11

Total (for 9, 20 overs) 138

Fall: 1-20, 2-44, 3-61, 4-63, 5-86, 6-90, 7-101, 8-120, 9-137.

Bowling: E A Perry 4-0-24-1, L C Sthalekar 4-0-16-2, J L Hunter 4-0-36-2, E A Osborne 4-0-33-0, J L Jonassen 4-0-25-3.

Umpires: B F Bowden and M Erasmus.

Facts in figures

2: Number of defeats suffered by England in 26 Twenty20 matches

10.33: Anya Shrubsole's economy rate in yesterday's final

4: Dropped catches by Australia during yesterday's final

172: Runs scored by Player of the Tournament Charlotte Edwards

Brand said he
Adam Lallana, Juan Cala, Andy Carroll and Cameron Jerome
sportThe latest news and scores
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit