Beth Mooney struck a match-winning unbeaten 74 as Australia claimed their sixth Women’s T20 World Cup title with a 19-run victory over hosts South Africa at a vibrant Newlands on Sunday.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat, knowing South Africa prefer to set a total, and posted a par score of 156 for six in their 20 overs. The home side struggled to keep up with the rate from the start and were restricted to 137 for six in reply.
Laura Wolvaardt made a superb 61 for South Africa but there was too little support around her, and Australia’s clever use of pace and length strangled the scoring rate for large parts of the innings.
"We felt we had a good score and that the wicket probably wasn’t as good as it was in the semi-finals, so if we could hit the right lengths and target the stumps (with the ball) we could put South Africa under pressure," Australia captain Meg Lanning said at the post-match presentation.
"We knew it would be an amazing atmosphere, which it was, and we have some really good experience in the group. We were able to call on that when the pressure was on.
"It is a special effort from the group, all the teams came hard at us, so to perform so well through the tournament was a great effort."
Australia’s innings was anchored by opener Mooney, whose score came from 53 balls as she struck nine fours and a six, and accelerated well in the final overs.
Ash Gardner (29 from 21 balls) also contributed but South Africa were able to pick up wickets along the way and it was only the measured Mooney who was able to master the pitch.
Fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (2-26) and wily all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (2-35) were the pick of the home attack.
Having seen how to bowl on the wicket, Australia executed superbly and Wolvaardt played a near lone hand as only Chloe Tryon (25 from 23 balls) offered her meaningful support as the pair put on 55 for the fourth wicket in 5.5 overs.
"If you would have told me Australia would get 156 in their innings I would have taken it," South Africa captain Sune Luus said. "We know they have a brilliant bowling attack and we lost wickets at crucial times, which made the difference.
"Congratulations to Meg and the team, they have been inspiring the world of cricket for a long time and they showed their class again today."