Star Australian all-rounder named Player of the Tournament
The outstanding Gardner took ten wickets and smashed 110 runs in Australia’s triumphant campaign, playing a huge part in helping the team to a sixth Women’s T20 World Cup title.
And the 25-year-old was outstanding in the final too, smashing 29 from 21 balls to give the Australian innings some impetus after being promoted to number three, and taking an extremely tidy 1/20 from her four overs of off-spin to help keep South Africa's batters at bay.
Gardner and Australia successfully defended their total of 156/6 to win by 19 runs in Sunday's final.
Victory for the Aussies is their sixth in Women's T20 World Cup history and completes a hat-trick of tournament wins under captain Meg Lanning after their triumphs in 2018 and 2020.
“We have been longing for this moment,” Gardner said after being named the Player of the Tournament.
“Personal accolades are great but I am proud of this win. Words cannot describe how proud I am of the group. We talk about evolving as individuals and growing the game globally. There is so much fun in playing cricket for your country.
“This is something I am going to be proud of later in life.”
Gardner’s excellent on the day was eclipsed by opening batter Beth Mooney, who was named Player of the Match.
And speaking after the final, Mooney heaped praise on her teammate.
“I think she's matured immensely across the last few years just off the field and obviously with her own game she's probably in a sweet spot as well in terms of how comfortable and confident she is.
“She's making match-winning contributions very consistently for this Australian team, so I've been really impressed with what I've seen from Ash.
“She's going to be around for a long time so hopefully she can continue to produce those games.”