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Australia wins Women's T20 World Cup for 3rd straight title

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Australia won the Women's T20 World Cup on Sunday, beating host South Africa by a comfortable 19 runs to underline its status as the best team in the world with a third straight title.

Australia has now won six of the eight T20 World Cups played.

The latest victory at Newlands came through a disciplined bowling and fielding effort from the Australians, who batted first and scored 156-6, then shut down South Africa's batters, who never came close.

South Africa finished well short on 137-6.

“We felt like it was a good score but we had to bowl well,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said. “We had to put pressure on South Africa. It was about enjoying the process and do what we were doing, about keeping things simple when the pressure is on. Thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Lanning has now led Australia to four T20 World Cup titles and one ODI World Cup title, more ICC tournament wins than any other captain in men's or women's cricket.

Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner, Darcie Brown and Jess Jonassen all took a wicket each for Australia, but it was a team effort in the field as the Aussies' big-match temperament shone through.

Australia was playing in its seventh straight final.

“You guys are very annoying,” South Africa captain Sune Luus said, jokingly, of Australia's all-conquering squad. “But congratulations to Meg and the team. You are setting the benchmark for other teams to live up to.”

Australia's total was built on opener Beth Mooney's 74 from 53 balls and 29 off 21 from Gardner, who was promoted to No. 3.

No one else got to the 20 mark for Australia but it was enough.

Opener Laura Wolvaardt top-scored for South Africa with 61 from 48 but Australia's bowling was tight and disciplined throughout and the South Africans couldn't ever break free. The hosts only had a glimpse of a chance when they needed 59 off the last five overs with Wolvaardt still there.

Her partnership of 55 with Chloe Tryon (25) threatened to lead to a late challenge from South Africa, but Schutt trapped Wolvaardt lbw in the 17th over to break that stand and South Africa's hopes of a first title in its first appearance in a final went with her.

Tryon was out in the next over, two balls after cracking a six over long-on, and Australia closed it out, conceding just 39 runs off those last five overs.

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