A YOUNG and vibrant Australian women’s cricket team is hungry for more success after reclaiming world No.1 status with a crushing World Cup triumph which means they hold the game’s major trophies simultaneously for the first time.
Sparked by strong performances from two of their young champions, Jess Cameron (75 off 76 balls) and Ellyse Perry (3-19 off 10 overs), Australia won a sixth World Cup with an imposing 114-run victory over the West Indies in the final in Mumbai, India early on Monday (AEDT).
Australia scored 7-259 after winning the toss and dismissed the Windies for 144, winning with 41 balls to spare.
It came just over four months after a four-run victory over England in Colombo secured the Southern Stars back-to-back World T20 titles.
All but two of the team that started the game in Mumbai were also part of the side that captured the World T20 crown.
Six of them are 23 or under, as are three of the other four squad members.
The only player over 30 is allrounder Lisa Sthalekar, 33, who announced her retirement in the aftermath of the final.
With the female version of the Ashes and the Rose Bowl – the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy also in their possession – the Australian women have the kind of packed trophy cabinet their male counterparts can only dream about.
“It’s good to get one up on the men for once but, to be honest, they’ve been a great support throughout the tournament for our team,” Australian captain Jodie Fields said.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be the sixth time an Australian team has won a World Cup and, to do it in the same year that we’ve won the Twenty20 World Cup, is really special.”
Australia’s next assignment is a tour of England in August when they will play a one-off Test, three one-day internationals and three T20 games.
Cameron again proved to be a big-occasion performer after also top-scoring in Australia’s World T20 final victory, winning player-of-the-match honours in both finals.
“The strongest thing about the Australian team at the moment is that we have a really good core group of players and certainly going through the next couple of years together will certainly help us to win World Cups,” Cameron told AAP.
Her powerful innings built on an opening stand of 52 in 10 overs between Meg Lanning (31 off 41) and Rachael Haynes (52 off 74).
Australia faltered in their batting powerplay, losing 3-9 and slumped to 7-209, with 17-year-old spinner Shaquana Quintyne (3-27 off 10) bowling superbly.
However, Fields (36 off 38) and Perry (25 off 22) blasted 50 off the last 40 balls.
Perry twice pulled up before reaching the crease to bowl her first ball, sending a shiver through Australian supporters, who feared the ankle injury that kept her out of the last two games had not healed.
Perry, who felt under pressure to perform after replacing 17-year-old pace sensation Holly Ferling, said it had been touch and go whether she played in the final.
“I had a feeling it was going to be quite a long night after those two false starts for me,” Perry told AAP.
When captain Merrisa Aguilleira (23 off 46) and powerful hitter Deandra Dottin (22 off 28) threatened a fightback, it was snuffed out by wily Sthalekar (2-20 off 10), who bowled both of them.
The West Indies lost 4-5 to crash to 8-114.
Megan Schutt (2-39 off 10), spinner Erin Osborne (2-26 off 7) and opening bowler Julie Hunter (1-18 off 4.1) swept through the tail.
Pace bowler Schutt, 20, finished the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 15, just two months after making her ODI debut. –AAP