There are good sports teams and there are great sports teams and then there’s the mighty Australia Women’s Cricket Team. That’s right! The Southern Stars are one such sporting team that absolutely know how to win and they keep winning. Over the years, this team is always been the team to beat and that’s what makes them miles better than the rest.
Women’s T20 World Cup – First Ever Standalone Tournament
The Women’s T20 World Cup took off in 2009 and has always been played along with the Men’s event. This year though, the International Cricket Council decided to split both tournaments into two. The Women’s event took place in February and March while the Men’s one will take place later this year in October and November. That said, this years Women’s T20 World Cup became the first ever standalone event in women’s sporting history.
Burden Of Having The Favourites Tag
Seven Women’s T20 World Cups (including the 2020 one) had taken place and in each of the seven editions, the Australia Women’s Cricket Team were always given the favourites tag. And why not? They have always been in rollicking form in most of the ICC events. Sure there are high expectations from the Aussie fans and the pressure could reflect on even the best team in the world. But not for this Australian Women’s team. They are ruthless. They have always been like this. And they will always be like this.
Australia At The Group Stages
There were two groups split up into five teams each with Austalia sharing Group A with Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, and minnows Bangladesh.
1st Match: Australia vs India
Australia did well to restrict India to a modest total and in their chase, they were looking like winning it at a canter but leggie Poonam Yadav weaved her magic and stunned the whole of Australia. The team went down by 17 runs. The result proved that this Aussie unit are not invincible and if you play good cricket, you can beat them.
2nd Match: Australia vs Sri Lanka
In a must-win tie, Australia locked horns with Sri Lanka. Bowling first, Australia did reasonably well to restrict Chamari Athapaththu’s side to a below-par score. But in the chase, Australia lost three wickets in quick time. It was then the experience of Rachael Haynes that got the Aussies over the line. This match proved that when Australia are on the back foot, they know how to come back strongly and boy they had. This match perhaps, made everyone believe that Australia are once again going to be champions of the world.
3rd Match: Australia vs Bangladesh
Another must-win game and Australia were simply clinical against a hapless Bangladesh side. The batters had a gala time while the bowlers did their bit. Australia won by a humongous margin and were heading to their last league game against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in what was an effective quarterfinal clash.
4th Match: Australia vs New Zealand
It was a stunning match to say the least. The match swung to and fro with Australia enjoying the upper hand on most parts of the time. It came down to the wire and despite needing a big 19 runs of the final over, New Zealand fell antagonizingly close of the target. They just about entered the semis, but unfortunately lost their talisman Ellyse Perry to injury (ruled out of the tournament). A blog blow to the Aussies, but they knew they still had it in them to go all the way on home soil.
Australia In The Semi Final
Australia’s semi final bout was against South Africa, a team who was unbeaten in the tournament and a team who had never ever previously beaten Australia in any form of cricket. But the question on everyone’s lips were whether or not there will be a game or not. That’s right. Incessant rain had already washed out the first semi final against India and England. And if the rain continued to pour, Australia would crash out.
But the Rain Gods had mercy on the four-time T20 champions. The rain stopped and Australia batted their 20 overs and put up a very competitive total. At the mid innings break,the clouds opened up again. Overs were being lost and with only 10 to 15 minutes left for play to be abandoned, it stopped raining and South Africa had 13 overs to bat. Though the African nation batted decently, they were no match for Wareham, Schutt, Jonassen, and the other Aussie bowlers. With the win, Australia reached yet another T20 World Cup final. In fact, it was their sixth straight final after missing out in the inaugural edition in 2009.
India vs Australia T20 World Cup Final
After having won all their group games and getting lucky in the semis, India were upbeat. But they were up against a mighty Aussie unit who had a knack of winning knockout games. Plus, they were out to seek revenge on Harmanpreet’s troops, who had beaten the team in Green and Gold in the tournament opener.
Batting first, Australia got off to a sensational start from their openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney. Both rode their luck and stitched together a fine 100-run partnership. Healy fell for a whirlwind 75 off 39 but Mooney marched on. Australia did lose a couple of wickets in the middle but the runs still kept coming and they ended up on a record total of 184 for 4 with Mooney batting throughout the 20 overs and remaining unbeaten on 78 off just 54 deliveries.
The target was stiff and India knew that very well. They needed a solid start, which unfortunately they did not get, thanks to Megan Schutt. The veteran sent the World Number 1 T20 Batter Shefali Verma back in the first over to dent a massive blow to India’s chances. The Aussies never looked back from there as India kept losing wickets. The writing was on the wall and it was only a matter of time before Meg Lanning’s team were crowned champions of T20 cricket for a record fifth time.
The team did lose their first game of the tournament but the way in which they bounced back after that opening game defeat speaks volumes of this team. They are truly one of the finest sporting teams in the world and we as fans are truly lucky to witness such greatness.
Winning a World Cup is a great feeling, but doing it in front of your home fans is even a better feeling. Meg Lanning and her girls will remember this tournament for a very long time. For India though, it was yet another World Cup Final loss. And as an Indian fan, it was disappointing to see the team lose another final. But the belief is there that some day India might win a silverware in women’s cricket. Fingers crossed. But for now, it is Australia’s Day. And the Australia Women’s Cricket Team are just too good for any team at the moment. They lose the odd game, but they know how to come back.
WHAT A TEAM! 🙌 #Respect