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Heartbreak for Team INDIA | Australia Win Women’s T20 World Cup Final
The two best teams in the Women’s T20 World Cup met at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Along with the players a crowd of 86,174 attended the momentous occasion and narrowly missed the all-time record for women’s sport of 90,185.
The day started off in Australia’s favour with the home side winning the toss and electing to bat. Openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney were in splendid form racing to 115 runs at 10 runs per over.
Mooney stayed till the end with a top score of 78 while Healy settled for 75. Having garnered a reputation for being a big-game player, Healy had underperformed in a warm-up series but with the support of her team was able to score big in the final.
Healy had already reached 28 runs off just 14 deliveries before Mooney had even hit a boundary. Healy was in no mood to slow down and launched Rajeshwari Gayakwad to two consecutive sixes.
As she got closer to her half century so did her penchant for hitting sixes as she dispatched seamer Shikha Pandey for three sixes in a row. Healy’s 75 had come off just 39 balls with a strike rate close to 200.
Her teammate Mooney was in awe with her teammates batting and had the following to say “ I just said. You’re kidding me, aren’t you?”
India did manage to put some sort of brakes on the Austrlian innings who at point were looking to reach a score of 200 plus.
Meg Lanning, Ashleigh Gardner and Rachael Haynes had failed to score big which meant that Mooney was left with no choice but to continue hitting the boundaries.
Mooney was happy to oblige and carried on eventually racing to 78 runs from just 54 deliveries.
“There were a lot of nerves around in terms of the weather,” Monney said of Thursday. “To get a game in there was amazing. We keep thinking about it and talking about it. It poured for the next two hours after we left the field.
We just got a bit of luck, and we felt like we hadn’t had much throughout the tournament. To come through today with probably the least stressful game of the whole tournament was just amazing. Everybody was on, and in the warm-up you could just tell. This group always performs on the big stage, and I thought we saw that tonight.”
If India were to win this game then they needed to start aggressively from the first over. All eyes were on big-hitting opener Shafali Verma. Verma never seemed to be in the game after dropping Alyssa Healy at 9.
Verma departed in the first over and then the wickets began to tumble.
Taniya Bhatia left the field after getting concussed from a sweep shot that shot into her head. Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, and Veda Krishnamurthy all fell trying to clear mid-off.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur tried to offer some sort of a resistance but also fell to a fantastic running catch by Ashleigh Gardner.
Deepti Sharma top scored for the Indian side with her 33 runs off 35 balls. In the end, Australian team bowling and fielding was simply too much for the Indian side that crumbled to 99 all out.
One might say that the battle of nerves was comprehensively won by Australia. India never seemed comfortable in the field with off-spinner Deepti Sharma started the match with three full tosses.
Former Australian pace bowler admitted he found it difficult to watch 16 year old Shafali Verma in tears after India’s loss to Australia.
Lee wrote the following in his column for the ICC “I really felt for Shafali Verma at the end, it was tough seeing her in tears but she should be very proud of the way she’s performed in Australia.
To come out here and face your first tournament head-on is testament to her talent and mental strength, and she’s only going to get better from here.
…she’ll learn from this experience and come back stronger. Moments like this can define you in a positive way…Don’t be surprised to see her put a big score on the Aussies the next time they play”
Title: Heartbreak for Team INDIA | Australia Win Women’s T20 World Cup Final