Kirstie Gordon’s bid to become the first Scottish cricketer to lift a World Cup fell short as England were crushed by Australia in the Women’s World Twenty20 final in Antigua.

The 21-year-old from Huntly, in her first tournament since switching international allegiance last summer, finished as the joint-fifth highest wicket taker with eight scalps in five matches in the West Indies.

She was not out for one at the tail as the English batters collapsed for just 105. And Gordon failed to add to her victim count as the Aussies eased to an eight-wicket win to defend their crown, reaching 106/2 with over four overs to spare.

With a professional contract now secured, the challenge is to build on this taste of the big time, the spinner said.

“If you play at this level, you have to want to be the best,” Gordon admitted. “You have to keep striving. Otherwise you go backwards. Women’s cricket is evolving so quickly that you can’t think ‘great. I’ve got this far’. I’m still new to this.”

Yet her success is proof, she maintained, that the Scottish system can produce top players capable of excelling on the global stage. What is missing, she declared, is opportunity with the women’s Wildcats at even more of a disadvantage to their male counterparts in getting the resources to move up the rankings.

Gordon was a reluctant defector to England. “It’s a frustration. If I could have played professional cricket in Scotland, I would have.” It developed her well though. It was largely down the efforts of long-time Scots coach Kari Carswell, she added, that she has reached a point where a full-time career in cricket now beckons.

“I didn’t really have any role models until Kari,” Gordon said. “I’d only played with men and I did look up to them. But I didn’t think it was possible to achieve anything until Kari took me under her wing. She was in the England Under-19 setup. She is Scotland’s leading run scorer. She told me how she’d go own to the nets to hit balls. I did that in my garden, just bowling on my own. That paid off.”

Alyssa Healy was named Player of the Tournament with Australia capturing the World Twenty20 prize for a record fourth time.