Australia survived a spirited challenge from hosts South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town to win the Women’s T20 World Cup for a third straight time.

Chasing Australia’s 156/6, South Africa managed to get to 137/6 falling 19 runs short of the target despite a vociferous crowd behind them.

Choosing to bat first, the defending champions relied on Beth Mooney (74 off 53) to set the tone with Ashleigh Gardner (29 off 21) playing the supporting role.

South Africa managed to keep Grace Harris (10), Alyssa Healy (18), Meg Lanning (10) and Elyse Perry (7) quiet but Mooney’s innings gave them a solid total on the board.

Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail finished with two wickets apiece while Nonkululeko Mlaba and Chloe Tryon managed to snap up one each.

In reply, South Africa, who upset England to reach the final, were slow to get going with Australian bowlers denying them easy runs. The pressure resulted in some easy wickets for the Aussies.

Laura Wolvaardt (61 off 48) kept her side in the game despite finding little support from the other end.

Tazmin Brits (10), Marizanne Kapp (11) and captain Sune Luss (2) all failed on the big stage.

Chloe Tryon (25 off 23) managed to string a partnership together with Wolvaardt to give South Africa some hope but their dismissals practically sealed their fate.

Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner, Darcie Brown and Jess Jonassen all took a wicket each to help Australia win its 6th Women’s T20 World Cup overall.

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.