Australia's all-conquering women's cricket team have added another trophy to their bulging cabinet, beating South Africa to win the T20 World Cup on Sunday night. The Aussies successfully defended the crown they won in 2020 with a 19-run victory over the host nation in Cape Town, making it back-to-back-to-back titles in the event.
Beth Mooney made 74 not out off 53 balls as the Aussies amassed 6-156 while batting first at Newlands. They were then clinical with the ball, restricting the Proteas to 6-137 to lift the T20 World Cup for the third time in a row and the sixth time in the last seven editions.
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In doing so they made a complete mockery of their recent snub by the Laureus World Sports Awards. The prestigious awards announced their nominations for team of the year last week, but the Aussie women's cricket side were nowhere to be seen.
Instead the nominations went to the Argentina men's football team, England women's football team, France men's rugby team, Golden State Warriors NBA team and the Red Bull F1 team. Last year the Aussie women's cricket team won the ODI World Cup, Ashes and Commonwealth Games gold medal in a record-breaking year that saw them win 12 of 13 matches played, with their only blemish being a tie.
However they were completely overlooked by the Laureus awards, which are supposed to recognise the best athletes and teams all around the world. Sports reporter Lachlan McKirdy tweeted last week: "Reckon it's pretty ridiculous the Aussie women's cricket team wasn't nominated for team of the year."
On Sunday night, McKirdy tweeted: "Add another World Cup to the tally. The best team in world sport? It’s hardly even a debate anymore." England women's cricketer Alex Hartley wrote: "Australia showing yet again why they are the greatest sporting team of all time."
I am actually livid about this omfg. Ashes, ODI World cup, CWG gold!! This is a joke.
— WBBL & WNCL fan page (@WBBLfanpage) February 21, 2023
— Julian King (@JulianKing15) February 21, 2023
Cricket world celebrates Australia's record triumph
Ash Gardner was named player of the tournament and delivered another stand-out all-round performance on Sunday to hand captain Meg Lanning a memorable win in her 100th T20 international as captain. Lanning has now won five ICC trophies as skipper - more than any player in cricket history, male of female.
Gardner helped propel Australia's batting innings with 29 off 21 balls and then defended 26 off the final over to finish with 1-20 off four overs. Her heroics ensured her side completed a three-peat in 20-over World Cups.
“We’ve been longing for this moment since the last World Cup,” Gardner said afterwards. “We’ve played some fantastic cricket throughout this tournament.
"We probably weren’t in winning positions throughout the game, but we scrapped and we fought and we bowled the absolute house down. I’m just super proud of this group.”
South African captain Sune Luus joked: “You guys are very annoying. You guys have been inspiring the world of cricket for a very long time. A lot of players look up to you guys, and I think you just showed your class again today, so well deserved, and well done.”
Mooney's brilliant knock came after she also made match-winning half-centuries in the finals of the T20 World Cup in 2020, as well as the ODI World Cup and Commonwealth Games final in 2022. "People are looking out at us for what we do and how we go about it, so certainly it won't last forever," Mooney said of their title-winning spree.
"But we'll enjoy it for as long as we can. And hopefully we can keep piling up those trophies and enjoying what's great."
T20 World Cup champions for a SIXTH time!
Best team on the planet 🤟 pic.twitter.com/P2c3Y4YsrQ
— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 26, 2023
Australia showing yet again why they are the greatest sporting team of all time.
Congratulations Australia 👏🏽
South Africa, you’ve created history, that is enough to be proud of 🏼#t20worldcup2022
— Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) February 26, 2023
Australian women’s team. are an indomitable force, and have been for so long. Deserved champions once again. What has been pleasing is to see that South Africa are heading in the right direction.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) February 26, 2023
This Australian women’s cricket team is basically the strict & unrelenting parent who always knows where you been & who you can never get past even on your best night when you think you’ve done everything right. Best sporting team ever #T20WorldCup
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) February 26, 2023
🏆 CHAMPIONS AUSTRALIA 🏆
ODI World Cup winners in 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013, 2022
T20 World Cup winners in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯 🙌
They just can't lose 🤯#SAvAUS SCORECARD ▶️ https://t.co/OtAUKVbcHJ | #T20WorldCup #T20WorldCupFinal pic.twitter.com/70SKHFEZ7E
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 26, 2023
— Weber Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) February 26, 2023
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