Fields admits to stressful finish
Two years ago Jodie Fields was watching her team-mates win the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean from her living room as she recovered from a serious hamstring injury so she had extra cause for celebration after leading Australia's successful defence of their title in Sri Lanka with a four-run victory over England.
It was no normal hamstring tweak that Fields suffered, instead she ripped the muscle off the bone and the extent of the damage was so severe there was even doubts as to whether she would play again. However, her own motivation for a comeback was never lacking after seeing the celebrations in Barbados and now she has been able to savour them for herself.
"Watching the girls win that back at home was just awesome. I was just really determined to get back playing cricket and be part of this with 15 other awesome girls. I don't know what more to say," she said. "Watching them play another tight match against New Zealand in the 2010 final, the celebrations that they had and the feelings they came home with, it was something I knew I wanted to be part of. I worked really hard to get back, and leading this side was something I really wanted to do."
As in 2010, this final was not without its nervy moments for Australia. After setting England a demanding 143 it did not appear as though it would be hugely challenged as Australia's bowlers chipped away against the pressure of an ever-rising asking rate. However, England are not the No. 1 side without reason and refused to lie down with Jenny Gunn striking crucial boundaries to keep her team in the match.
It came down to England needing 16 off the final over and the nerves were clear from Australia as Erin Osborne delivered a huge full toss that was called no-ball and then Jess Jonassen spilled a catch at cover. Eventually, though, six from the last ball proved too tough an ask as Danielle Hazell could only club another nervous delivery to deep midwicket.
"It was quite stressful, but the belief was there and we were all behind Erin Osborne bowling the final over," Fields admitted. "She came through. I needed the team to do it. We spoke a lot about having composure in the tough stages. We knew they'd come hard at us and they did. Sometimes, you drop some. You just have to get back up and play the next ball. We did that."
Australia had come into the final has distinct underdogs - England had not lost a game in the tournament while winning 31 out of their last 33 - but claimed vital early wickets with England's powerful top three of Charlotte Edwards, Laura Marsh and Sarah Taylor gone by the tenth over. However, for Edwards it was their slow start in the field that disappointed her the most.
"We were below par with the ball and had to pay for that today," she said. "The first six overs of their innings was probably the difference between the two teams. We got 30-odd runs and those 10 to 15 runs was the difference. Our lack of discipline up front really cost us."
Edwards, though, was delighted at the quality of the match the two teams produced as an advertisement for the women's game. "I'm disappointed we lost but to need six runs off the last ball and see some of the shots that we saw, it was just a great spectacle for the women's game. So I'm very proud of that. I'm bitterly disappointed to not win and lift the trophy, but Australia thoroughly deserved their victory."