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Windies Women on Top of T20 World

Captain Stafanie Taylor and teenager Hayley Matthews made half-centuries as West Indies pulled off a record run chase to beat Australia. Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews scored half-centuries as West Indies ended Australia’s Women’s World Twenty20 dominance with an eight-wicket victory at Eden Gardens to win the tournament for the first time. Australia had won the World T20 three times in succession before Sunday’s showdown in Kolkata, but lost their grip on the trophy by suffering a first defeat to the Windies in nine contests between the two sides in the shortest format. windies women 2

Elyse Villani and captain Meg Lanning made 52 apiece as Australia posted 148-5 after winning the toss, but 18-year-old Matthews (66 from 45 balls) and skipper Taylor (59) put on 120 for the first wicket as the Windies got home with three balls to spare to pull off their highest T20 run chase. Captain Darren Sammy was among the members of the men’s team who came onto the pitch to celebrate with their compatriots and his side will aim to complete a double by beating England on the same ground later in the day. Villani got to her half-century from just 37 deliveries but was dismissed by Deandra Dottin in the 12 over, which gave the West Indies a chance at staying in the game. The opener struck nine fours in the very aggressive innings.

West Indies' cricketers celebrate after winning against Autralia during the final of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2016 cricket tournament at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
West Indies’ cricketers celebrate after winning against Autralia during the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2016 cricket tournament at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Lanning, who was more circumspect, batted until the 18th over, getting her runs off 49 deliveries with eight boundaries. Anisa Mohammed was responsible for the wicket of Lanning, trapping her leg before wicket. Ellyse Perry also helped the Australians to a very competitive total with 28 not out from 23 deliveries. The total may have been 15 runs too short on a batting track, but 148 had never been chased in a final and Australia’s history against the West Indies would leave them very confident about defending such a score. This time around would be different, this West Indies side is different, with 18-year-old Matthews listening to her captain’s request to play ‘fearless cricket’. Matthews belted 66 from 45 deliveries, inclusive of six fours and three sixes. As usual, Taylor played a captain’s knock, amassing 59 from 57 deliveries to anchor the innings. Taylor’s batting meant she ended the tournament MVP, having amassed 246 runs, the most of any batter. Her eight wickets also put her very high up the bowling chart as well. Dottin then had to make 18 off 12 deliveries before Britney Cooper’s run-a-ball three brought the innings to its conclusion three balls into Perry’s final over.

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