It was not the day for Women in Blue, as Australia beat India in front of a crowd of 86,174 in the Final of ICC Women’s World Cup. Defending champion Australia claimed its fifth Women’s Twenty 20 Cricket World Cup title after thrashing India by 85 runs in Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australian players Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney completed their half-centuries thereby giving a tough competition to the Harmanpreet Kaur Led India.
It seemed like team India was nervous about their performance on the big day which resulted in poor bowling and some important dropped catches while the way Aussies start the game showed that they will definitely hold the World Cup Trophy. The huge target by the Australia team seemed difficult for team India to achieve as some of its prominent bowlers got dismissed in the first few overs! With an attendance of 86,174 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it was registered as the biggest women’s cricket match ever, and it delivered in every respect other than the contest on the field, which ended in an 85-run win for the hosts and their fifth world title in this format.
Mitchell Starc South African player was also present at MCG to cheer for the women’s team in the ICC Women’s T20 final, especially his wife Alyssa Healy. And his decision proved worthwhile as her wife gave an outstanding performance with the fastest 75 runs off 39 bowls and thereby giving a flying start to Australia’s scoreboard after she departed, it was Beth Mooney who took up the mantle and made a whopping 78 runs in 10 overs!
The Indian bowlers, however, we’re unable to send the duo easily back to the pavilion. The Aussies also showed they were quick learners and handled leg-spinner Poonam Yadav much better, camping on the backfoot most of the time, and not rushing at her as they did in the tournament opener. It was, admittedly, a much better wicket to bat on and right down the Aussie’s alley. Also dropped catches, one in the first over itself which went for 14 runs, and fielding lapses did India no favors. With an outstanding batting strategy, Aussie’s created the highest chase of 184/4 for Women in Blue.
The power-pack girls did their best to chase the target. When talked about India’s batting, Shikha Pandey was the most expensive out of the lot. She conceded 52 runs in her four-over quota. Deepti Sharma who had a disappointing performance in Melbourne on Sunday managed to fetch 2 wickets. Poonam and Radha Yadav were the other wicket-takers, sharing a wicket each.
Meg Lanning’s team showed a classy performance in the way they set a superlative target of 184 to be defended and India was able to achieve just 99 runs off 19.1 overs, however looking on the chase of 184 it was already decided that the trophy will go to which team!
The 16-year-old Shafali Verma who has been the star performer of Women in Blue announced her arrival on the big stage by straight hitting a six which went directly in the hands of Megan Schutt. Schutt had promised before the final that she had something up her sleeve against the teenager from Rohtak. She delivered, forcing Shafali to hit the shot and g behind in the first over itself. Lots of hopes were there witch shafali’s batting which she didn’t able to fulfill and got out by Megan Schutt on just 2 runs in the first over of the 185-run chase.
The others big guns in the Indian batting – skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemima Rodrigues and Veda Krishnamurthy – weren’t having a prolific tournament and it didn’t change in the final while chasing a stiff target.
However, Team India has registered itself in top teams of the world through winning all the matches in group stage though Sunday was not their day! Well done girls, we hope next year you will definitely win the title of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup!