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Meg Lanning’s blitz vs England seals women’s T20 tri-series title for Australia

Meg Lanning blasted a swashbuckling 45-ball 88* for Australia against England to script her team’s title triumph in the women’s international T20 tri-series final

cricket Updated: Mar 31, 2018 15:15 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Meg Lanning,England women's cricket team,Australian women's cricket team
Australia cricket team captain Meg Lanning (L) and Elyse Villani pose with the winner’s trophy after defeating England in the women's T20 tri-series final at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.(AFP)

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman! Australian skipper Meg Lanning rose to the occasion against England in women’s international T20 tri-series final, blasting a swashbuckling 45-ball 88* to script her team’s title triumph at the Brabourne Stadium here on Saturday.

Lanning, who didn’t have much to do apart from playing a couple of handy cameos during the league phase of the tournament, seemed to have owned the occasion from the moment she walked out to bat in the big final against the arch-rivals.

In the company of in-form Elyse Villani, who blitzed her way to a 30-ball 51, Lanning peppered the English attack with a flurry of boundaries. During their breathtaking 75-ball, 139-run stand for the fourth wicket, 102 runs came off boundaries (24 fours, one six). Lanning, who was later adjudged the player-of-the-match, accounted for 17 (16 fours, 1 six) of them.

The 26-year-old’s high-voltage power display saw Australia plunder 139 runs off their last 10 overs to post a mammoth 209/4, which was the highest-ever total made by a team in women’s T20s.

England had begun their campaign in the tournament with a record chase against India a week ago, but this time they never looked like getting anywhere close to their target and could muster only 152/9. Natalie Sciver (50, 42b), Danielle Wyatt (34, 17b) and Amy Jones (30, 28b) were the only English batswomen to put up some fight as the rest of the batting unit came a cropper.

Australia‘s Meg Lanning plays a shot during the Tri-Nation Women's T20 Series final cricket match against England in Mumbai on Saturday. (PTI)

For the Southern Stars, Megan Schutt claimed the bowling honours once again, scalping 3/14 to take her tally of wickets in the tri-series to 9, which earned her the player-of-the-series award. Medium pacer Delissa Kimmince and off spinner Ash Gardner chipped in with two wickets apiece.

The 57-run victory brought curtains down on Australian women’s amazing run in the Indian summer during which they whitewashed the hosts in a three-match ODI series, besides winning four out of five matches in the T20 tri-series.

Earlier, after being sent in to bat, Australia started poorly with in-form opener Beth Mooney falling leg before to Tash Farrant for a first ball duck. Ash Gardner (33, 20b) and Alyssa Healy (33, 24b) then put England on the backfoot with a breezy 36-ball, 61-run stand for the second wicket.

Jenny Gunn dismissed both players in her first over, eighth of the innings, to bring England back into the game. However, their departure brought Lanning-Villani combination in the middle that took the game away from their reach.

England would now take on India in a three-match ODI series starting in Nagpur on April 6.

Brief scores: Australia 209/4 in 20 overs (M Lanning 88*, E Villani 51, J Gunn 2/38) beat England 152/9 in 20 overs (N Sciver 50, D Wyatt 34, M Schutt 3/14, A Gardner 2/20, D Kimmince 2/35) by 57 runs.

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 14:49 IST