By Callum Dent
Australia remain on course to secure a third successive Women’s World Twenty20 title after claiming a narrow eight-run triumph over West Indies in Dhaka.
An impressive 73-run third-wicket stand between Deandra Dottin and Stacy-Ann King, who made 40 and 36 not out respectively, threatened to end the Southern Stars’ dominance in the sprint format of the game.
But Dottin’s dismissal in the penultimate over signalled the end as the Windies’ pursuit of 141 fell short when Rene Farrell conceded just eight off the final set of six.
After Elyse Villani struck 35 at the top of the order, Alyssa Healy provided late impetus with 30 from 21 balls to lift the defending champions to 140 for five having won the toss.
Villani dominated an opening stand of 32 with Jess Jonassen, who was run out for just five in the sixth over.
Villani's 32-ball innings, which included seven fours, came to an end two overs later when she holed out to long-on to become Anisa Mohammed’s first victim.
A 30-run stand between Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry steadied the ship, but three wickets in five overs threw Australia off course as they slipped to 92 for five with just 28 deliveries remaining.
Perry was first to go, caught and bowled by Stafanie Taylor, before Lanning played on to Tremayne Smartt for 29 and Mohammed trapped Jess Cameron in front.
However, Healy’s arrival at the crease prompted a rise in the run-rate as she struck a quartet of fours to deflate the Windies.
Kycia Knight and Taylor ensured their side’s reply started smoothly with a partnership of 43 in 7.1 overs but they departed for 21 and 24 in quick succession, allowing Dottin and King to join forces.
Despite the required rate rising to 9.3 at the halfway stage of the innings, Dottin and King refused to be unfazed and unsettled Australia with an 8.4-over stay at the crease.
The pair both struck four fours and a six, with Dottin’s maximum over long-on off Jonassen heralding the half-century stand.
But with 20 needed from just 11 deliveries, the superb partnership was ended when Dottin clubbed a Sarah Coyte full-toss to Erin Osborne at deep midwicket.
Fourteen runs were then required from the final over and, despite the best efforts of King, the Windies fell short.