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Australia women take Twenty20 crown

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 17, 2010 11:40 IST
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Australian women's teamMedium pacer Ellyse Perry scalped three wickets for 18 as Australia emerged as the Women's World Twenty20 champions after defeating New Zealand by three runs in a thrilling summit clash in Bridgetown.

Opting to bat, Australia made a modest 106 for eight in their 20 overs but their pacers bowled with purpose and accuracy to restrict New Zealand to 103 for six at the Kensington Oval on Sunday.

Perry was the impressive of the lot as apart from picking up three crucial New Zealand wickets, she held her nerve in a tense last over to guide Australian eves home, just hours after their male counterparts had lost in the corresponding final to arch-rivals England.

Needing 14 off the last over, Perry, backed by some superb fielding, did not concede a single boundary to give New Zealand the heart break, a year after they had lost to England in the final of the last edition at Lord's.

Chasing a modest 107, Sophie Devine (38 n.o.) rescued New Zealand from a top-order collapse to give them a shot at victory after they were reduced to 29 for four at one stage.

The target was gettable, but New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals to allow Australia to claw back into the game.

At 36 for five, the game was out of New Zealand's grasp, but Devine and Nicola Brown (20) batted with resolve to add 41 runs for the sixth wicket.

Devine struck some lusty blows, including a six, in the death overs but her charge came too late in the game.

Perry broke the dangerous-looking partnership, getting Browne caught behind as New Zealand slumped to 77 for six.

However, Devine was in no mood to give up as she struck Rene Farrell for a four and a six off the last two balls of the penultimate over to take the game to the wire.

But it was not to be Devine and New Zealand's day as needing 14 of Perry's last over, they could only manage 10.

Earlier, Nicola Browne (2/11) starred with the new ball while Devine (2/21) came up with useful contribution in the middle overs to restrict Australia to the modest total.

Sian Ruck (1/18), Kate Broadmore (1/15) and Lucy Doolan (1/23) were the other wicket-takers for New Zealand.

Leah Poulton top-scored for Australia with a 20 off 28 balls, while Sarah Elliot (19 off 20) and Lisa Sthalekar (18) chipped in with useful contributions down the order to take Australia past the 100-run mark.

Elliot and Sthalekar shared a late 27-run stand between then to help Australia's cause.

Brief Scores
Australia: 108 for eight in 20 overs (Leah Poulton 20, Sarah Elliot 19; Nicola Browne 2/11)
New Zealand: 103 for six in 20 overs (Sophie Devine 38 n.o.; Ellyse Perry 3/18)

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