Australia clinched their sixth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title in a thrilling final against South Africa at Cape Town on Sunday. Beth Mooney’s impressive half-century and Australia’s brilliant death bowling proved to be the difference as they defeated South Africa by 19 runs, despite opener Laura Wolvaardt’s valiant knock.
South Africa’s chase of 157 got off to a shaky start as Darcie Brown took the first wicket, dismissing Tazmin Brits for just 10 off 17 balls. At the end of the powerplay, South Africa was at 22/1 and desperately needed an uptick in their run rate. However, Ashleigh Gardner struck, dismissing Marizanne Kapp for 10 off 17 balls, leaving the hosts at 46/2.
At the end of 10 overs, South Africa was at 52/2, with skipper Sune Luus (1*) joining Wolvaardt (28*) at the crease. But Australia continued making further inroads into the match, running Luus out for two runs. With the hosts at 54/3 in 10.4 overs, they desperately needed a partnership.
During South Africa’s innings, Tahlia McGrath’s second over and the 13th over of their innings proved to be a turning point, as a couple of no balls eased the pressure. One of the resulting free hits was smashed for a six, and a total of 14 runs were added to South Africa’s score, taking them to 73/3. The following over by Georgia Wareham also proved costly, giving away 15 runs and taking the total to 88/3 after 14 overs. With 69 needed in the final six overs, the pressure was mounting on South Africa.
Despite the pressure, opener Laura Wolvaardt brought up her half-century in 43 balls, including four boundaries and three sixes. However, Megan Schutt ended her impressive knock by trapping her lbw for 62, which included five fours and three sixes. At this point, South Africa was 109/4 in 16.3 overs, and Australia was starting to make a comeback.
The comeback continued as Jess Jonassen dismissed a well-set Chloe Tryon for 25 off 23 balls, and Anneke Bosch was run out for one by a duo of Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy. With South Africa at 122/6 in 18 overs and needing 35 in the final two overs, the equation boiled down to 27 runs needed in the final over. However, Australia defended these runs with ease, winning the match by 19 runs.
In the end, Nadine de Klerk was unbeaten at 7 while wicketkeeper-batter Sinalo Jafta was unbeaten at 8, and South Africa ended at 137/6. Among the Australian bowlers, Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner, Darcie Brown, and Jess Jonassen each took a wicket.
The summit clash of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 between Australia and South Africa witnessed an impressive display of batting by Beth Mooney, who scored 74 runs off 53 balls to help Australia post a total of 156/6 at Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday. Ashleigh Gardner also played a vital knock of 29 runs off 21 deliveries to support Mooney’s efforts.
Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp bagged two wickets each while Nonkululeko Mlaba and Chloe Tryon scalped one wicket apiece for South Africa. Shabnim Ismail was the most successful bowler, taking 2/26 in her four overs and becoming the leading wicket-taker in the history of the Women’s T20 World Cup.
Opting to bat first, Australia’s openers made it through a few tense overs, but Alyssa Healy was the first to fall for 18 runs when Nadine de Klerk held on to a chance off the bowling of Marizanne Kapp.
Australia promoted Ash Gardner ahead of Meg Lanning in the batting line-up, but a stunning maiden over from Shabnim Ismail restricted Australia’s score to 36/1 at the end of the Powerplay.
At the Women’s T20 World Cup final, Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening partnership weathered a tense start, but Alyssa Healy was eventually caught by Nadine de Klerk off Marizanne Kapp’s bowling. Ash Gardner was promoted in the batting order and quickly scored consecutive sixes, pushing the score to 73/1 by the halfway point of the innings. However, Chloe Tryon broke Gardner’s stand with a stunning catch from Sune Luus, and Grace Harris failed to make an impact before falling to Nonkululeko Mlaba. Meg Lanning added only 10 runs from 11 balls before being caught off Kapp, putting Australia in danger of posting a low total.
In the last over, Shabnim Ismail took two wickets to restrict Australia to 156/6. Beth Mooney was the standout performer with 74 runs off 53 balls, while Gardner contributed 29 off 21 deliveries. Ismail and Kapp each took two wickets for South Africa, while Mlaba and Tryon took one apiece. Ismail also became the leading wicket-taker in the history of the Women’s T20 World Cup during the innings.
Brief Scores: South Africa: 137/6 (Laura Wolvaardt 61, Chloe Tryon 25, Ashleigh Gardner 1/20) lost to Australia: 156/6 (Beth Mooney 74*, Gardner 29, Shabnim Ismail 2/26).