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Australia women lift T20 title

AFP
May 17, 2010 at 05:06am IST

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BarbadosL 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 -- backed up by fine fielding -- didn't give up a boundary and the pace bowler finished with impressive figures of three wickets for 18 runs from her maximum 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 38 not out off 35 balls rescued New Zealand from a top order collapse to give them a shot at victory just a year after they had lost in the final to England at Lord's.

Australia women lift T20 title

The Australia eves came up trumps hours after their men's team failed.

New Zealand, chasing a modest 107 for victory after holding their rivals to 108 for six, slumped to 29 for four inside eight overs.

White Ferns skipper Aimee Watkins fell first, caught at short midwicket off pace bowler Clea Smith.

Then Sara McGlashan, who made 84 in New Zealand's semi-final win against the West Indies, was run out for just one after a dreadful mix-up with Suzie Bates.

Bates herself was out for 18, trying to hit across the line when facing pace bowler Ellyse Perry and lobbing a catch to mid-off.

Amy Sattherthwaite then paid the price for playing back to a full Perry delivery that kept a touch low, clean bowled for four.

Rachel Priest was then nearly stumped by opposing wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, the niece of former Aussie gloveman Ian Healy, with third umpire Asad Rauf causing confusion by pressing the wrong button.

Priest's reprieve was short-lived, however, as she holed out for five off left-arm spinner Shelley Nitschke to leave New Zealand in dire straits at 36 for five off 11 overs.

However, Devine and Nicola Browne held firm and, with three overs left, New Zealand needed 33 to win. But when Perry had Browne caught behind cutting for 20, New Zealand were 77 for six.

However, Devine struck Rene Farrell for four and six off the last two balls of the 19th over and that left New Zealand with 14 to win, off the final over from Perry.

A single got Devine back on strike and she then took several twos to leave the target down to seven off the last two balls.

Another two left the Kiwis needing five off the last ball but they could only manage a single.Earlier, Browne rocked Australia with a new-ball burst of two wickets for 11 runs in four straight overs during an innings where the top score was Leah Poulton's 20.

Browne forced opener Ellyse Villani (six) to spoon a drive to cover and then dismissed Australia captain Alex Blackwell for nought, with the aid of a fine catch in the gully by Sophie Devine.

In the end, Australia were grateful for a late stand of 27 between Sarah Elliott and Lisa Sthalekar.

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