Empire of the Southern Suns

FP

The New South Wales pacer Ellyse Perry has the reputation of being a diva in her own dressing room, but the 22-year old Australian was forced to sit out of all three Super Six games with an injured left ankle. Like all prima donnas however, Perry sought the grand stage to produce her finest.

During the Women's World Cup final at a floodlit Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, it was almost inevitable that Perry would show up, sporting her customary zing. Even if she had to hobble to the crease on one good leg. And show up she did in the most electrifying of fashions, bowling the Southern Stars to their sixth World Cup crown. The final itself didn't quite live up to its billing with the West Indies folding up rather meekly against the Australian surge. But there was hardly a dull moment when Perry had the ball in her hands.

Having posted 259/7 batting first, the Aussies had already applied a semi-stranglehold on the trophy. But there were threats in the West Indian line-up that had to be eliminated for them to breathe easy. Enter Perry.

Brought into bowl in the 10th over of the run-chase, she promptly broke a solid opening stand, trapping Kycia Knight in front. Then in her second over, the right-armer got rid of the dangerous Stafanie Taylor with an acrobatic catch off her own bowling. Natasha McLean became her third victim in over No.3, leaving the Caribbean girls reeling and Perry's figures reading an incredible 3-2-2-3. Perry was proving too fast and too furious for the West Indians and there was little resistance that they looked capable of providing.

The Stars though, had many heroes on what would prove to be arguably the most remarkable day in Australian women's cricket-a day where they became the champions of the world, adding the 50-over crown to their prevailing T20 one. While Perry hogged the limelight, an old, wily fox spun her magic around the West Indian batters as unassumingly as ever.

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