Openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney have blasted Australia to a fifth Twenty20 World Cup title in front of a huge home crowd at the MCG that signalled a new era for the women’s game.
The pair belted the Indian attack, setting a big total of 4-184 that proved too much for the tourists, who struggled from the first over of the chase to be all out for 99 in the 20th over.
Although the crowd of 86,174 fell short of the 90,815 world record for a women’s sporting event – set at soccer’s 1999 World Cup final at California’s Rose Bowl – Cricket Australia would be thrilled with the success of the #FILLTHEMCG campaign.
It was something player of the match Healy acknowledged, telling Channel Nine “I never thought i would get an opportunity like this … I think just feeding off the crowd tonight was something different for us”.
Her opening partner Beth Mooney won the player of the series award and also noted the growing support from the public.
“I’m a bit lost for words,” Mooney said. “It’s been an unbelievable tournament. The crowds have been amazing throughout.”
Mooney said Australia would keep striving to stay on top of the world.
We’ve got great support and resources around us to make sure we can achieve that,’’ Mooney said.
After winning the toss and batting on Sunday evening, Healy and Mooney started brightly with 12 runs in the first over and kept up the pressure throughout the first 60 balls.
With India suffering from poor fielding and the bowlers being monstered for runs, Healy cut loose in the eighth over with two huge sixes.
She then brought up her half-century with 53 runs off 30 deliveries in the ninth over and the 100 partnership came after 10.3 overs – Healy on 63 and Mooney on 37.
The 11th over yielded 23 runs as the shellshocked Indian bowlers searched for answers.
In the end, Healy brought about her own demise, holing out to Veda Krishnamurthy off the bowling for Radha Yadav for 75 off 39 deliveries.
Skipper Meg Lanning tried to keep the momentum going but, after starting brightly, fell to Deepti Sharma – pushing the ball to square leg when on 16.
Sharma then had Ash Gardiner stumped for just two, but Australia’s last three overs yielded even more runs to take the total to 4-184.
Mooney anchored the innings with 78 off 54 balls, with Nicola Carey not out five.
India’s run chase started in the worst possible manner, with Megan Schutt breaking through in the first over having teen sensation Shafali Verma caught behind for just two.
Taniya Bhatia was then forced off the ground after being hit on the helmet by a ball from Jess Jonassen, only for Jemimah Rodrigues to hole out soon after from another Jonassen delivery – India was 2-8 and the final slipped away from that moment.
The tourists failed to build a partnership of more than 28 and the last eight overs were a foregone conclusion as the Indian bats started holing out and the crowd celebrated early.