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Healy, Mooney and Schutt lead Australia to fifth title

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Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney struck the highest scores in ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final history as record-breaking Australia secured a famous fifth title on home soil.

  • Alyssa Healy (75) and Beth Mooney (78 not out) put on 115 for the first wicket
  • India were bowled out for 99 in their chase of 185
  • Megan Schutt (four for 18) finished as leading wicket-taker in Australia

A record-breaking attendance for a women’s cricket match of 86,174 watched on as Australia downed first-time finalists India by 85 runs at the MCG, with the openers setting the tone for a clinical performance.

The pair put on 115 and never looked back, with Healy (75) breaking record after record and lighting up Melbourne with a jaw-dropping display.

India’s bid to chase 185 was always going to be difficult, with leading wicket-taker Megan Schutt taking the first four-wicket haul in a Final to restrict Harmanpreet Kaur’s side to 99 all out.

For Meg Lanning, meanwhile, the greatest moment in her career is complete – following in the footsteps of Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke in winning an ICC event as Australia captain on home soil.

Indian nerves were evident immediately and Healy ensured she pounced with three boundaries off Deepti Sharma’s opening over.

Two more fours off Shikha Pandey took Healy beyond 2000 T20I runs, and in Mooney (78 not out) she had her familiar and unflappable ally, making India pay after Rajeshwari Gayakwad dropped a tough return chance.

Still the Australians kept coming, Healy striking the biggest six of the tournament at 83 metres before repeating the trick down the ground to maintain the flying start.

Another straight four brought up Healy’s half-century from just 30 balls, the fastest in the Final of any ICC event, with India needing to stem the tide with 91 scored at halfway.

Three successive sixes over long on, long off and then cover took Healy to the highest score in a Women’s T20 World Cup Final while the opening duo combined for the second century partnership in the showcase.

Finally the respite came for India with Healy miscuing Radha Yadav to Veda Krishnamurthy at long-on, the record-breaking partnership ending at 115 within 12 overs.

Healy’s 75 featured seven fours and five sixes in the 39 balls but consistent Mooney kept on her merry way, reaching her 50 from 41 balls to end the 15th over at 142 for one.

With four overs to go, Australia already had the highest score in a Women’s T20 World Cup Final but captain Lanning (16) then fell to Sharma, caught at square leg.

And it was two in the over as Ashleigh Gardner – player of the Final two years ago – missed a straight one and was stumped.

India threatened to slow the rate with Rachael Haynes bowled by Poonam Yadav but Mooney kept going to carry her bat, surpassing Healy’s 75 to bag the highest score in a Women’s T20 World Cup Final.

The records didn’t stop there either, with Mooney’s total tournament tally of 259 runs the most scored by one player in a single Women’s T20 World Cup.

India’s chase started in disappointing fashion with Shafali Verma brilliantly caught behind by Healy off Schutt, who had feared facing the 16-year-old sensation in the Powerplay.

One became two as Jemimah Rodrigues could only chip Jess Jonassen (three for 20) to Nicola Carey at mid-on, leaving Kaur and Smriti Mandhana to begin the rebuild.

Back-to-back fours got Mandhana going but her bid for a third proved her undoing, chipping Sophie Molineux’s first ball to mid-on to leave India at 18 for three.

The captain found the boundary off Jonassen but perished next ball, a top-edge flying to Gardner who took a good catch just inside the deep midwicket rope.

For the first time in 15 matches, India lost four wickets in the Powerplay to make an already tough task even harder in Melbourne.

Sharma and Krishnamurthy (19) began the rebuild until the latter holed out to mid-off off Delissa Kimmince, ending a positive partnership of 28.

Richa Ghosh then came out to the middle, a concussion replacement for Tanya Bhatia who had to leave the field during her earlier batting effort.

The 16-year-old Ghosh (18) batted valiantly alongside Sharma but the required rate continued to rise with 104 needed from the last five overs.

Sharma (33) then holed out to Mooney off Carey as a professional Australia outfit did what they have done in four Finals previous, with execution of skills hitting perfection on the biggest stage of all.

Schutt finished with a four-wicket haul, including the final scalp of Poonam Yadav, with her 13 wickets the most in this edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup.

India finished all out for 99, with the 85-run deficit far from reflective of their efforts in the tournament.

But they’ll certainly be back. A side boasting more teenagers in the Final than any other before them has a bright future, with this just the start of what could be a shift in momentum for Kaur’s brave and bold team.

Scores in brief

Australia beat India by 85 runs, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Australia 184-4, 20 overs (Beth Mooney 78 not out, Alyssa Healy 75; Deepti Sharma 2-38)
India 99 all out, 19.1 overs (Deepti Sharma 33; Megan Schutt 4-18, Jess Jonassen 3-20)

Courtesy of the ICC