BRIDGETOWN: Ellyse Perry took three wickets and held her nerve in a tense last over as Australia beat New Zealand by just three runs in a thrilling women’s World Twenty20 final.
With the White Ferns needing 14 off the last over, Perry - also an Australian international football player - who was backed up by fine fielding from Rene Farrell and Shelley Nitschke, did not give up a boundary and the pace bowler finished with impressive figures of three wickets for 18 runs from her four overs. Victory came just hours after Australia’s men’s team had lost in the corresponding final to arch-rivals England.
The result was tough on Sophie Devine, whose unbeaten 38 off 35 balls rescued New Zealand from a top-order collapse to give them a shot at victory just a year after they were beaten in the final to England at Lord’s. New Zealand, chasing a modest 107 for victory after holding their rivals to 106 for six, slumped to 29 for four inside eight overs. In the end, Australia were grateful for a late stand of 27 between Sarah Elliott and Lisa Sthalekar that got them to a total they just about managed to defend.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 18th, 2010.