England’s women fell at the final hurdle as Australia secured a resounding victory in the T20 World Cup final.
Defeated captain Charlotte Edwards conceded her side had been “completely outplayed," as the female Aussies left yet another stamp on the cricketing world.
If the Three Lions were ever to secure the trophy, they were reliant on strong performances from their openers, but both Sarah Taylor and Edwards struggled to rack up runs, notching just 18 and 13 respectively.
The length of their stand will also be looked at in any post-mortem, with six valuable overs being used up by the two.
Edwards was eventually caught impressively by Jess Cameron off Sarah Coyte’s bowling and Coyte was also to be the downfall of Taylor, though she will rue the foolish attempt at a reverse sweep that led to her removal.
The pressure appeared to get to England, who went into the game as mild underdogs despite thrashing South Africa to reach the final.
Some consolation may be found in the fact that this was the Baggy Greens’ third successive Twenty20 trophy, but when compared to their Aussie counterparts, England looked unsettled.
Australia, on the other hand, looked destined for victory from the outset. Meg Lanning led the chase with a quick-fire 44 off 30 balls, which meant she finished the tournament as leading run-scorer. Ellyse Perry added 31, and hit the winning runs after just 15.1 overs.
England’s below-par total of 105 fell unsurprisingly short, and it didn’t take long for Australia to get their reply underway. Bowler Danielle Hazell’s pride took a battering as the left-handed Jess Jonassen smashed two fours and one six off the second over.
In truth, England never seemed the likely winners, despite a spirited effort from Natalie Sciver, who dismissed Lanning and Alex Blackwell. Nonetheless, they might have hoped for a closer affair; the 2012 final between the two sides saw Australia triumph by four runs, but that of 2014 will go down in the history books as a walk-over.
Sadly, there were few in the stands to witness such a determined display. For all the celebration of the occasion, it must have dawned on both sides that they were performing to virtually empty stands.
There may be lessons that can be learned from staging the women’s final on the same day as the men’s, amid talk that the game was overshadowed by Sunday’s later fixture of Sri Lanka against India.
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