Australia's elite female cricket players are basking in the proof they are the best in the world after sealing their second major international tournament in the past four months.
The Southern Stars' 114-run victory over the West Indies in the World Cup final on Sunday night in Mumbai allowed them to match England's feat from 2009-10, when it held both the 50-over and 20-over tournaments. It was the sixth time the Stars have won the 50-over World Cup.
The Stars chose to bat first and produced an imposing total of 7-259. Jess Cameron (75 off 76 balls) and Rachael Haynes (52 off 74) set the platform for the innings, which was finished deftly by captain Jodie Fields (36 not out off 38) and bowling all-rounder Ellyse Perry (25 not out off 22). Cameron's innings gained her the player of the match award, which she also won in October's World Twenty20 win.
Perry, who required a painkilling injection in her ankle to play, snared the momentum from the West Indies with an exceptional start to her bowling spell, at one stage having 3-2 in her third over.
A partnership between captain Merissa Aguilleira and big-hitting Deandra Dottin proved threatening until both were bowled by revered off-spinner Lisa Sthalekar.
Sthalekar, 33, sealed the victory in the 44th over of the chase with an exceptional one-handed catch of Tremayne Smartt that ended the West Indies' innings on 145.
"I'll take one of those any day in a World Cup final to win it," Sthalekar quipped about her title-sealing catch.
"It was a real team effort, and to actually contribute and pick up a few key wickets [was great]. I've been hit by Dottin for plenty of sixes so it was quite sweet to take her wicket, and to take the catch for the final wicket was really special."
While England entered the tournament with high expectations of retaining the World Cup, all-rounder Sthalekar reckoned the Stars, who have also won the past two World Twenty20 titles, had done enough to signify their superiority.
"A goal of ours is to be the number-one in both formats. I think our record speaks for itself," she said. "We go over to England [in August] to play for the Ashes and Twenty20s and they'll be quite upset by this loss [of the World Cup to Australia]. We've got to go out and prove ourselves over there."
Coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick echoed Sthalekar's thoughts on the Stars' world standing.
"Well we are in both formats, we've got the number-one ranking. That's fantastic," she said. "We're the number-one team in the world, so these girls deserve to celebrate hard and be really pleased with what they've done.
"It wasn't without its drama and it wasn't without its speed-humps but the girls showed good character, belief in their skills — and we got there!"
Dual cricket-soccer international Perry cited two matches earlier in the tournament as evidence of why Australia was returning home with the World Cup trophy.
"What was most pleasing and indicative of the character of our side throughout the whole tournament was just how hard we had to fight for some of our wins. It probably goes back to our first-round win against Pakistan, and then the Super Sixes win against England," she said.
"To stand up in two really big tournaments at really crucial times was a real testament to the culture within our side and also the attitude that we have.
"But it'd be very naive to think England aren't a class side. I think we're all going to be looking forward to the Ashes mid-year."