KOLKATA, India (CMC) — Teenager Hayley Matthews and Captain Stafanie Taylor fashioned half-centuries as West Indies Women produced a superb run chase to beat three-time defending champions Australia Women by eight wickets and lift their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup title here yesterday.
Set 149 for victory at the historic Eden Gardens, West Indies Women reached their target with three balls to spare, with the 18-year-old Matthews top-scoring with 66 from 45 balls and the in-form Taylor getting 59 from 57 balls.
The pair put on a magnificent 120 for the first wicket to take Australia Women out of the contest, and even when Matthews fell in the 16th over, Deandra Dottin (18 not out) joined Taylor to add 24 for the second wicket to keep the Caribbean side on top.
West Indies Women entered the final over requiring three to win and Dottin reduced the target even further with a single to cover off seamer Ellyse Perry.
Britney Cooper, who finished on three not out, failed to score off the next delivery, but took off for a suicide single off the third ball. The fielder at short midwicket missed a direct hit at the bowler’s end that would have seen Cooper on her way, and the resulting overthrow handed West Indies Women the crucial win.
The result sparked scenes of jubilation across the outfield as the remainder of the women’s team, along with members of the men’s team, ran onto the ground to celebrate.
“I am [on top of the world]. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” an elated Taylor said afterwards.
Matthews, who struck six fours and three sixes to post her maiden T20 International half-century, was voted Player-of-the-Match, while Taylor was adjudged Player-of-the-Tournament for her 246 runs overall.
Earlier, Australia Women Captain Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani both struck 52 to get the title favourites up to 148 for five off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first.
Alyssa Healy fell cheaply for four at 15 for one in the second over when she tapped a low return catch to off-spinner Matthews, but Lanning and Villani put on 77 for the second wicket to rally the innings.
Lanning faced 49 balls and gathered eight fours, while opener Villani counted nine fours in her 37-ball innings.
Villani reached her half-century in the 10th over by sweeping leg-spinner Shaquana Quintyne for four and then punching a single to deep point, but perished in the following over when she got a leading edge off medium pace Dottin and was caught at cover by Taylor.
Lanning added a further 42 for the third wicket with Ellyse Perry, who scored 28 from 29 balls, but once the skipper was lbw to off-spinner Anisa Mohammed in the 18th over, Australia Women lost momentum as three wickets fell for 13 runs at the death.
Taylor and Matthews then gave the Caribbean side a fabulous start, taking the attack to the Aussies as they raced to 76 without loss at the halfway mark.
The pair gathered just nine runs from the first three overs, but accelerated nicely throughout. Matthews smashed a pair of leg-side boundaries off seamer Rene Farrell in the fourth over and then got down to medium pacer Megan Schutt in the next over to deposit her over midwicket for six.