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WI Women gun down 149 for maiden WT20 title

WI Women gun down 149 for maiden WT20 title

Agencies

West Indies converted their maiden appearance in a World Twenty20 final into a historic victory in Kolkata, beating three-time defending champions Australia for the first time in a T20 international by pulling off the second highest chase in the tournament's history. The heroes of the daunting pursuit were 18-year old Hayley Matthews and the captain Stafanie Taylor, whose half-centuries and 120-partnership came at more than a run a ball.

Their effort left West Indies with two runs to get off four balls, and when Britney Cooper pushed to Megan Schutt at midwicket and sprinted, what should have been a run-out at the bowler's end resulted in the overthrow that sealed the title. Their team-mates blazed a trail on to the field and the women were soon joined by the West Indies men in joyful celebrations in the middle of Eden Gardens.

Those scenes scarcely seemed likely when West Indies were run ragged in the first half of the game, as half-centuries from Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning helped Australia post an imposing 148 for 5.

However, Matthews and Taylor clinically brought the chase into the realms of possibility. From the 10-over mark, there was an air of inevitability to the chase as Matthews, who combined her big-hitting prowess with delicate dabs, attacked the bowling. She laid into Jess Jonassen, who had conceded only 12 off her first three overs, to turn the tide going into the last seven overs of the chase. Just like that, Australia, who had a fourth title well in their grasp for the first 25 overs of the clash, saw the trophy slipping away as their bowlers, who clinically applied the choke in a similar situation against England, fell apart under pressure.

 

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