In the end, Australia finished their Indoor Cricket World Cup campaign exactly how they started it – as world champions.
The Aussies made the 14-hour flight to Dubai as the team everyone had to beat, having won every single edition of the tournament since its inception.
Before a ball was even bowled at InSportz Club, the men’s side clinched nine titles since 1995, while their female counterparts tasted global success eight straight times when the competition was launched in 1998.
Their youths are also on the same page with their Under-21s triumphing in all five finals in both the male and female’s categories.
So, having dominated the indoor format, it was no surprise to see them to take a clean sweep in all four categories yesterday.
In the women’s showdown, Australia proved to be too strong for South Africa, who were featuring in their sixth final.
Having scored 121 inspired by high scores of 22 from Krystal Oppermann and Briony Polkinghorne, the defending champs were even better with the bowling.
After getting two run-outs in the first two balls, South Africa never really recovered as they fell way short of their target with 52. Oppermann, Laura Shaw and Nicole Martin took three wickets each.
— Denzil M Pinto (@denz_360) September 23, 2017
For triumphant skipper Jude Coleman, it was her seventh World Cup success.
“It makes me feel old,” joked Coleman, 36. “They are all different and all special. Every one is with a new group of players and this one we had a lot of new players, to share that with them is always special and to win it is even better.”
It wasn’t long before the Australians were celebrating again as the men’s counterparts followed suit.
Facing old foes New Zealand, whose side included former international Jesse Ryder, they got a first hand view of the Haka for the first time in Dubai.
Yet, that didn’t distract their focus. With strong support, with the rest of the triumphant Australian sides watching in the crowd, the men did not disappoint by scoring 94 runs in their 16 overs.
Jay Otto led the way with 20 runs, while Matthew Floros hit 15.
New Zealand’s innings did not get off to the best start after finding themselves at -8 early in the first skin. But despite showing signs of improvement, Australia were too dominant with Luke Ryan finishing with three wickets as New Zealand registered 48.
It was the 10th world title for the men’s side and while skipper Lyle Teske acknowledges their run will one day come to an end, he wants the team to remain dominant.
“It’s inevitable isn’t it,” he said. “We’re going to have to lose one eventually and I’ve never seen a sporting team with this record ever. We’ll keep going and doing enough and that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few years.
“They are all good sweet victories. New Zealand are a tough opposition and if you don’t turn up on the day, they’ll come and topple you on the day.”
The men’s triumph completed a memorable day for the Aussies after their Under-21 sides retained their titles with victories over New Zealand. Their men’s side won 68-66, while their women’s side came out on top, winning 92-54.
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