Skipper Meg Lanning’s blazing knock helped Australia reach a record total before Megan Schutt led a brilliant bowling performance to beat arch-rivals England by 57 runs in the title clash of the women’s T20 tri-series in Mumbai on Saturday.
Australia rode on a stunning display by Lanning (88 not out) and Elyse Villani (51 of 30 balls) as they amassed 209/4, the highest-ever total in a women’s T20 International, surpassing the previous best of 204/1 posted by South Africa against Netherlands in 2010.
The Southern Stars then performed with the ball by restricting England to 152/9, wining the game with ease.
England had a bad start and were teetering at 14/2 with Breynoy Smith and Tamsin Beaumont falling for ducks on a placid track at the Brabourne Stadium.
But Opener Danielle Wyatt (34 off 17 balls) made her intentions clear by hitting three boundaries in the very first over. Wyatt was going well and was poised for a big score, but after two consecutive boundaries she failed to get the elevation and gave a sitter to Lanning at cover off Delissa Kimmince, with England struggling at 47/3.
Natalie Sciver (50 off 42 balls) waged a lone battle but that was not enough as the target was well out of their reach.
Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals as Australian bowlers did not allow the English batters to settle. Amy Jones (30), Fran Wilson (14), Alice Davidson Richards (1), Sophie Ecclestone (2) fell cheaply as England were never in the game.
For the Aussies Schutt (3-14) was the pick of bowlers, claiming two wickets in the 18th over. She was superbly aided by Ashleigh Gardner (2-20), Delissa Kimmince (2-35) and Ellyse Perry (1-35).
Earlier, asked to bat, Australia had a shaky start with opener Beth Mooney (0) falling early. But then Alyssa Healy (33 off 24 balls) and Gardener (33 off 20 balls) steered the team out of trouble in their 61-run second wicket stand. The Aussies raced to 62/1 in seven overs.
Veteran Jenny Gunn bought England back into the game removing both Gardner and Healy in the eight over with Australia suddenly in a spot of bother at 66/3.
However, then began the carnage as Lanning and Villani stitched a 139-run stand for the fourth wicket in just 73 balls, putting the Aussies back on the track.
Initially, Lanning was the more aggressive batter as she hit four boundaries in the 12th over off Davidson-Richards. And in the very next over, she kept the onslaught going by hitting three boundaries off Natasha Farrant.
Villani then joined the party hitting three boundaries in the 14th over. It was raining boundaries as the two Australian batters brutally punished a listless English attack. The Aussies amassed 129 runs in the last 10 overs and the poor fielding by the England fielders only aided them.
Lanning, struck 16 boundaries and a six while Villani hit eight fours in her knock. Aussies hit 32 fours and five sixes in their innings.
Brief Scores: Australia Women 209/4 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 88 not out, Elyse Villani 51, Jenny Gunn 2-38) won against England Women 152/9 in 20 overs.