T20 World Cup: Dominant Australia down South Africa to lift sixth title

Beth Mooney has struck a matchwinning 74 not out, as Australia claimed their sixth Twenty20 World Cup title with a 19-run victory over hosts South Africa at a vibrant Newlands.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, knowing South Africa prefer to set a total, and posted a par score of 156/6 their 20 overs. The home side struggled to keep up with the rate from the start and were restricted to 137/6 in reply.

Australia clinched their sixth T20 World Cup title.
Australia clinched their sixth T20 World Cup title. Photo credit: Getty Images

Laura Wolvaardt made a superb 61 for South Africa, but there was too little support around her, and Australia's clever use of pace and length strangled the scoring rate for large parts of the innings.

Australia were pre-match favourites against a South African side playing in their first final, and that experience with bat and ball showed on a slow wicket, as they retained the title they won on home soil in 2020.

"We felt we had a good score and that the wicket probably wasn't as good as it was in the semi-finals, so if we could hit the right lengths and target the stumps [with the ball] we could put South Africa under pressure," said Australia captain Meg Lanning.

"We knew it would be an amazing atmosphere, which it was, and we have some really good experience in the group. We were able to call on that when the pressure was on.

"It is a special effort from the group, all the teams came hard at us, so to perform so well through the tournament was a great effort."

Australia's innings was anchored by opener Mooney, whose score came from 53 balls, as she struck nine fours and a six, and accelerated well in the final overs.

Ash Gardner (29 from 21 balls) also contributed, but South Africa were able to pick up wickets along the way and only the measured Mooney was able to master the pitch.

Fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (2/26) and wily all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (2/35) were the pick of the home attack.

After seeing how to bowl on the wicket, Australia executed superbly and Wolvaardt played a near lone hand, as only Chloe Tryon (25 from 23 balls) offered her meaningful support, with the pair putting on 55 for the fourth wicket in 5.5 overs.

"If you would have told me Australia would get 156 in their innings, I would have taken it," said South Africa captain Sune Luus. "We know they have a brilliant bowling attack and we lost wickets at crucial times, which made the difference.

"Congratulations to Meg and the team, they have been inspiring the world of cricket for a long time and they showed their class again today."