Colombo, Oct 7 (IBNS): Reigning champion Australia defeated 2009 winner England in the final of the ICC Womenís World Twenty20 at R.Premadasa Stadium on Sunday and in doing so became the first team -- male or female -- to retain the ICC World Twenty20 trophy.
Jess Cameron led the way with the bat as Australia reached 142 for four Ė a score that was close to what Australia set when the teams clashed in the group stage.
On that occasion England successfully overhauled Australiaís total of 144 but, this time, Englandís big hitters Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor were unable to replicate their Galle match-winning performances as Australiaís all-round effort saw the side to victory by four runs.
Australia had not exhibited any decisive individual performances until Sunday but peaked at the right time, and, after being put in to bat, the Southern Stars got off to an excellent start as openers Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy put on a devastating opening partnership of 51, scoring at a run a ball until Lanning was caught and bowled by Holly Colvin for 25.
Healy continued the charge until being out second, bowled by Danielle Hazell in the eleventh over for 26 with the score on 68.
But the real batting power was supplied by Jess Cameron, who came in at number three and smashed the England bowlers around the park, scoring five fours and the first six of the final.
She was joined at the crease by Lisa Sthalekar, and the two put on another 51-run partnership. But it was the 15th over of the Australia innings that might have been the most decisive, as Cameron plundered 17 off Anya Shrubsole.
When Cameron departed off the first ball of the next over, Australia was already on its way to an imposing score.
Alex Blackwell made a brief cameo, scoring 13 before being run out on the last ball, leaving Australia on 142 for four from its 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Colvin was the pick of the England bowlers, taking two wickets for 21 runs, with the lowest economy rate of the side.
Under increasingly gloomy skies, Englandís batters were uncharacteristically circumspect.
Openers Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh were responsible for the slow start and when Marsh tried to force the pace in the fifth over she was caught and bowled by Julie Hunter, England had only reached 20 runsĖ well short of the 47 Australia managed in its powerplay.
Edwards picked up the pace and scored 28 off 23 balls, including four fours and one six, before being caught leg-side by Ellyse Perry.
With the tournamentís leading run scorer out of the way, the Australia bowling attack upped the ante, and dismissed Englandís danger player Sarah Taylor for 19, though not before she smashed two fours.
Englandís middle and lower orders put some life into the run chase with Arran Brindle (13), Jenny Gunn (19) and Danielle Hazell (14) all scoring quickly. But it was all in vain as England needed a six off the last ball.
For Australia, Jess Jonassen picked up three wickets, while Sthalekar and Hunter took two each. Australia batter Jess Cameron was named Player of the Match. There was some small consolation for England captain Charlotte Edwards, who was named Player of the Tournament.