Lanning sizzles as Australia thumps England for title

Lanning put up a class act, pummeling the England bowlers to make  an unbeaten 88 off 45 balls with 16 fours and one six as Australia won the final by 57 runs.

Australia captain Meg Lanning (left) and Elyse Villani pose with a trophy after Australia beat England to win the tri-series at Brabourne Stadium.   -  AFP

Meg Lanning cut, carved, swept and lifted the ball to all parts of the ground and led Australia to a thumping 57-run win against arch-rival England in the final of the T20 Tri-series at the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India on Saturday. 

Lanning put up a class act, pummeling the England bowlers to make  an unbeaten 88 off 45 balls with 16 fours and one six.

The women in yellow dominated the power-play, lost ground thereafter when seamer Jenny Gunn, bowling her first over from the Club House end, dismissed Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner. But Australia took command of the match with Meg and Elyse Villani running up a 139 run stand for the third wicket that enabled their side to post a record total of 209 for four.

England was never in the hunt after losing Bryony Smith and Tamsin Beaumont in the space of the first seven balls and could only manage 152 in its 20 overs.

Dashing opener Danielle Wyatt and Natalie Sciver, who scored an aggressive half century, came close to match Australia’s power-play score, but thereafter they were baulked by some smart out-cricket by their opponents and when Wyatt drove straight into the hands of Lanning at wide of mid off, England hopes of making a match declined.

Lanning has been at her best when leading Australia against England. Only once she has been dismissed for a single digit score. In the nine matches leading to the final of the tri-series here, she had scored 334 runs with an average of 47.71 with an unbeaten 78 as the highest.

In the tenth match against England as captain on Saturday, she took charge of the Australian innings, that was somewhat looking vulnerable at 66 for three in the third ball of the eighth over.

After a cautious approach till the tenth over when her team’s score was 80 for three, Lanning and Elyse advanced hitting fours and sixes at will and from overs 11 to 16 , scored 11, 17, 12, 17, 12 and 16 runs and to post a new world record partnership for the third wicket in the shortest format of the game.

England, led by Danielle Hazell in the absence of the injured Heather Knight, wilted and the writing on the wall was clear for it at the small interval between the two innings.

Brief scores

Australia 209/4 in 20 overs ( Alyssa Healy 33, Ashleigh Gardner  33,  Meg Lanning 88*, Elyse Villani 51, Jenny Gunn 2/38) bt England 152/9 in 20 overs (Danielle Wyatt 34, Natalie Sciver 50, Amy Jones 30, Megan Schutt 3/14, Delissa Kimmince 2/35,Ashleigh Gardner 2/20).

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