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Cricket | Women

© Reuters

Australia retain women's T20 crown



Australia successfully defended their women's World Twenty20 title following an exciting four run win over arch-rivals England in the final on Sunday.

Jess Cameron hit the highest score of 45 in any World Twenty20 final to help Australia to 142-4 in their 20 overs before the champions restricted England to 138-9 at Premadasa stadium.

Spinners Jess Jonassen (3-25) and Lisa Sthalekar (2-16) shared the spoils as England found the going hard on a spin-friendly pitch.

Seamer Julie Hunter grabbed 2-36 to finish as tournament's best bowler with 11 wickets.

But it was all-rounder Sthalekar, also scoring 23 not out, who set up the win with the wicket of England's premier batter Charlotte Edwards for 28 in the eighth over to make the chase difficult for the 2009 champions.

England had pinned their hopes on Edwards who had hit a brilliant half-century in England's seven wicket win over Australia in the group phase.

England needed 16 off the last over but Danielle Hazell (16 not out) managed 11, leaving the Australian players jubiliant.

Australian captain Jodie Fields said her team's hard work had paid off.

"It's a good feeling," said Fields, who missed 2010 final through injury. "England played a really good match, but we had the belief in our team. Just an all-round performance. It's awesome to be standing here as winners.

"All the hard work has been worth it."

Alyssa Healy (26) and Meg Lanning (25) put on 51 for the opening wicket in Australia's competitive total after they were put in to bat.

Cameron smashed five boundaries and a six during her rapid 34-ball knock.

England captain Edwards showed disappointment over the loss.

"It didn't go our way, but congratulations to Australia. We didn't do well up front, and just couldn't pin them," said Edwards, declared player of the tournament on scoring 172 in five matches.

"I'd much rather be lifting the other cup. The youngsters in the team keep me young, so I keep trying to get better."

Hosts Sri Lanka and the West Indies play in men's final later Sunday.

BRIEF SCORES:

Australia 142-4 in 20 overs (J. Cameron 45; H. Colvin 2-21)

England 138-9 in 20 overs (C. Edwards 28; J. Jonassen 3-25, L. Sthalekar 2-16, J. Hunter 2-36)

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