Women's World T20 2018

On this day: Perry's boot seals WT20 glory

Eight years ago in the Caribbean, Australia edged out New Zealand in a thriller to claim their first World T20 title

Laura Jolly

16 May 2018, 01:32 PM AEST

Laura Jolly is a Melbourne-based journalist for cricket.com.au. She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. 

Eight years ago, Australia began their unparalleled run of Women’s World T20 success when they edged out New Zealand in a thrilling final at Barbados’ Kensington Oval.

But if it hadn't been for Ellyse Perry's right foot - and her lightning-fast reflexes - it could have been a very different story.

The three-run, final ball victory was the first of three consecutive titles claimed by the Australians, who have won three of the five events to date.

Southern Stars: a tale of three titles

Meg Lanning’s team will return to scene of that maiden triumph – the Caribbean – this November aiming to win back the World T20 title they surrendered to West Indies in Kolkata in 2016.

And with the 2020 tournament to be played on home soil just 14 months later, the stakes are high for the world No.1 Southern Stars.

With 170 days remaining until the 2018 World T20 begins, here’s a look back at that 2010 tournament – culminating in a famous triumph in the final – through the eyes of Australia stars Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry.

May 16, 2010: Barbados (West Indies)

Result: Australia defeated New Zealand by three runs

Player of the match: Ellyse Perry (3-18)

Australia's 2010 campaign – the second ever Women’s World T20, with the inaugural event won by England – was book-ended by thrillers.

First, they overcame Ashes foes England by the narrowest of margins in their opening game in the Caribbean.

Both teams were bowled out for 104. Then, both teams finished 2-6 in their super over.

They were eventually split by the number of sixes scored – Australia's one, courtesy of Jess Cameron, compared to England's none.

Australia started the tournament with the tightest of victories over England // Getty
Australia started the tournament with the tightest of victories over England // Getty

From there they advanced through the tournament without a loss, but their final against New Zealand went right down to the wire as the Southern Stars successfully defended a meagre 8-106 – thanks to Perry. Or rather, her right foot.

"I guess the memory that sticks out the best is Perry’s boot in the final ball," Alyssa Healy recalled six years later, speaking to cricket.com.au ahead of the 2016 tournament in India.

"We obviously didn’t make enough runs and New Zealand looked on track to chase it down."

Led by Nicola Browne’s 2-11, Australia’s top order fell cheaply as they battled their way to triple figures with Leah Poulton top-scoring with 20.

Early strikes from Perry and Clea Smith kept the Southern Stars in the match, giving them the upper hand as the White Ferns fell to 5-36.

Shelley Nitshcke celebrates a wicket // Getty
Shelley Nitshcke celebrates a wicket // Getty

But the dangerous Sophie Devine remained at the crease, keeping New Zealand’s hopes alive as they entered the final over needing 14 runs to win.

A single, then four twos left New Zealand needing five to win, or four to force a super over with Devine on strike.

Under immense pressure, Perry bowled the final ball of the tournament.

Devine hammered a powerful straight drive – a shot that should have flown down the ground to the boundary - but Perry managed to somehow stick out her right foot and deflect the ball to mid-on, conceding just a single.

The winning moment // Getty
The winning moment // Getty

"They needed five off the last ball to win and I’ve never seen a ball hit so cleanly – and Sophie Devine hits pretty cleanly as it is - but Pez’s right foot just stuck out there and all I remember after that is Alex Blackwell coming and hugging me,” Healy said.

"So it was a pretty special moment."

For Perry, the way the final played out seemed appropriate, given the fashion in which the tournament began.

"During that tournament as a whole, things tended to pan out for us very well. Maybe that last ball was quite significant of how whole tournament went, with the close things going our way," Perry said.

Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy celebrate // Getty
Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy celebrate // Getty

"It was lovely to be able to celebrate a win on the last ball when it was so close and not being on the wrong side of it.

"(All three titles are) all quite unique because they were different events.

"You always feel really euphoric after a win.

“(But) that first one being in the West Indies and being my first World Cup win was really hard to replicate.”

Women’s World T20s 2018 + 2020

The 2018 World T20 will be played in St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua from November 2-25, with the schedule for the tournament still to be confirmed by the International Cricket Council.

Then, just 14 months later, it will be Australia’s turn to host the tournament. As revealed by the ICC and Cricket Australia earlier this year, group matches will be played at Junction Oval, the WACA, Spotless Stadium and Manuka Oval from February 21, 2020, with the semi-finals to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The event will culminate in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day, March 8 2020.