Australia were a force to be reckoned with in the group stages, winning six of their seven games and the team’s only group loss coming at the hands of tournament winners England, with the hosts sneaking over the line in a 3-run nail biter.
India proved too good for the dominant Aussie side. Sydney Thunder’s Harmanpreet Kaur blasted an unbeaten 171 from 115 balls for India, in a reduced overs semi-final. Despite a spirited fight-back from WA batter Elyse Villani (75 off 58) and Alex Blackwell (90 off 56) – Australia couldn’t match the ever-rising run-rate, eventually falling 36 runs short.
Alcohol.Think Again Western Fury Captain Villani and opening bat Nicole Bolton performed well during the campaign, contributing with both bat a ball in numerous match-winning performances.
Villani found herself having to adjust to middle-order batting, with the 27-year-old settling into her number five spot, scoring 148 in 5 innings with a healthy strike-rate of 112.97. Elyse was named player of the match against Pakistan, after a thrilling innings which saw her crash 5 fours and 4 sixes to score 59 in 40 balls.
Not known for her prowess with the ball, Villani surprised with 19 economical overs and five wickets, her best bowling coming against England (3-42).
Bolton had an exceptional tournament at the top of the order. Australia’s second highest run scorer behind Elyse Perry (404), the West Australian scored 351 runs in 8 innings at an average of 50.14. Bolton’s 107 not out against the West Indies saw her named player of the match.
“Everyone on their day had the ability to put on a really good performance and win a game for Australia,” Bolton said when reflecting on the tournament.
“Every one of our 15 players got an opportunity to play in a World Cup game, which I think it pretty special.
“I think this group had gelled together really well, we enjoy each other’s company. We’re in really good hands leading into the Ashes.”
The Australian women now have a few months to re-group and hone their skills before they take on England in the Ashes Series which starts in late October.