What a time to be Australian- A 2015 ODI World Cup Final, a 2015 Rugby World Cup Final and now a Womens World T20 final! Will it be plain sailing this time? Sport-Matters previews the Australian team in their pursuit of Womens World T20 glory on Sunday.
Key Player: Meg Lanning
The Australian captain has led her team with courage and confidence. Australia suffered a heavy defeat against New Zealand in their second match of the tournament but Lanning has led by example. Lanning has a total of 149 runs for the tournament, the fourth best overall, which features 56 runs against Sri Lanka and 55 runs in the semi-final against England. 56 runs after a duck against New Zealand in the previous match shows great strength of character. Lanning has also hit 20 4s through this tournament, second highest of the tournament. It’s no surprise Lanning was crowned Player of the Match in the semi-final: her physical and mental strength has dragged her team out of the mire and towards potential T20 glory.
Winning Factor: Deja-Vu!
For those avid womens cricket fans, this Womens World T20 Final preview will not surprise. We’ve been here three times before and every time the Australian team have won. As well as this, Australia have face the West Indies in the semi-finals twice in 2012 and 2014- both times Australia have won. Whilst this will play on the minds of the West Indies women, the Australian women will be brimming with confidence as they walk out in Kolkata tomorrow chasing their fourth consecutive T20 World Cup title. Simple advice: do the same thing!
Meg Lanning’s example could lead her Aussie team to glory.
Potential Problem: Finding the Wicket
In all three matches Australia bowled first, they won the match so there is no doubting their ability to chase a score. However, when they batted first against New Zealand they lost and narrowly won as England chased in the semi-final. This comes down to a lack of clinical bowling. Against New Zealand, Australia’s best bowler was Jess Jonassen with an economy of 4.75 runs per over (19 runs / 4 overs = 4.75 runs per over) whilst New Zealand’s Morna Nielsen achieved 1.00, with 4 balls from 4 overs. Against England, this improved slightly as Megan Schutt produced 3.75 (15 runs from 4 overs & 2 wickets) compared to England’s Laura Marsh with 4.50 (18 runs from 4 overs & 1 wicket) yet Australia were sweating at the finish.
The result of the final all depends on who wins the coin toss. If West Indies win and decide to field first, the pressure turns to Australia to hit a good score and then defend it well. If the West Indies are the chasing team, they could clinch the title. However, if Australia win the toss, they know they will have to follow in the steps of the captain Meg Lanning and those who won World Cup finals before them by chasing down the opponent’s score.