Australia become six-time World Cup Champions

The 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup Final featured two teams with contrasting backstories. Held at Brabourne Stadium (CCI) Mumbai, the favorites and 5-time Champs Australia took on underdogs West Indies in the final match of a hard-fought World Cup.

The English team could feel a little hard done by- because West Indies pulled off the upset of the tournament so far by beating the Australians in the final Super-Six game- handing the defending Champions an unexpected exit before the final. It was all going according to script for the women until this last game, and England were again expected to take on Australia for the second consecutive time in the World Cup Final. West Indies were not expected to beat the mighty Australians- easily the favorites this time around, on their way to become the first team to win the World Cup without losing a single game.

And then, they inexplicably collapsed while chasing a tiny target of 164, after being 130-4 at one stage. They lost by 7 runs, breaking the hearts of the English women- who cannot be blamed for wondering if the result was fair after all, or if it involved a bit of gamesmanship by the Aussie women. A probe will not be carried into the game, and the West Indians were handed top spot in the super-six stages- a completely unexpected result for them after they lost handily to the Indian eves in the first match of the World Cup.

And as it happened, they lost their final game of the World Cup too- against a heavily fancied Australian team that showed no signs of any kind of nerves on the biggest stage of Women’s cricket. Haynes, Cameron and Fields helped the Australians to a strong score of 259, setting the stage for a chase that could have handed West Indies their second World ICC trophy in less than 6 months (after the men won the T20 World Cup in October).

This West Indian team, led by the brave Aguilleira (recovering from her own personal heartbreak months ago), could not rise up to the occasion- falling short by a massive margin of 114 runs. Dottin, Aguillera and Taylor fell for low scores- with the highest individual score being 23. The West Indies set out to be the team that could break the dominance held by England, Australia and New Zealand in Women’s ICC tournaments, and came mighty close- but were thwarted by a stellar bowling attack led by the newly retired Lisa Sthalekar and Perry- who shared 5 wickets and just 39 runs from the 20 overs between them.

That was that, and Australia won the World Cup for a record 6th time, losing just one (controversial) game on their way to the title. They were clearly the best team of the World Cup, with England really not coming close after losing 3 games on their way to 3rd place in a heartbreaking tournament for them.

The team that will walk away having won the maximum hearts, though, as usual- is the West Indies. Whether it is their men or their women, the game belongs to them- and the 2013 World Cup as well as the 2012 T20 World Cup will be remembered for the rapturous unique Caribbean celebrations at the end of a big win (after beating Australia in their final super-six game at Bandra).

It will also be remembered for the innings of the tournament- played by Taylor against the Sri Lankans, and for Dottin’s all-round performance that accelerated their reputation into a world-beating and formidable limited-overs team.

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