Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen Lead Australia to Fifth T20 World Cup Victory

The clinical performance from Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen leads Australia to their fifth T20 World Cup title against in front of an electrifying crowd of 86,174 at the MCG. 

“We haven’t played our best game of cricket yet and that’s still out there somewhere and hopefully it happens tomorrow,” Meg Lanning stated on Saturday.

Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen Lead Australia to Fifth T20 World Cup Victory

Australia beat India 99 all out (Sharma 33, Schutt 4-18, Jonassen 3-20) by 85 runs with 184 for 4 (Mooney 78*, Healy 75, Sharma 2-38).

Riding high on the heels of an extraordinary innings from Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning’s squad produced a stunning performance to win the fifth T20 World Cup with an overwhelming 85-run victory in front of an MCG crowd of 86,174, narrowly missing out on setting a new world record for a women’s sporting event.

For the few hours that the two teams were on the field, there was only one thought on their thoughts out of all the larger-picture stories about the day. As soon as Lanning won the toss, it was Australia‘s day. In the opening over of each innings, they established the mood.

In an over that went for 14, Healy was dropped, making a similar statement to that of her husband, Mitchell Starc, who was one of the thousands of spectators at the 2015 men’s World Cup final versus New Zealand. Megan Schutt defeated Shafali Verma in the field, handily winning their prior head-to-head match.

Healy’s bat had not been the only thing involved. Even though India made a comeback in the last five overs, Beth Mooney, who was also dropped on eight, ended as the tournament’s top run scorer with 259 at 64.75 following a well-paced 78 of 54 balls to guarantee the opening stand was built on.

That was the only time the competition was remotely close. Things quickly got worse for India after Verma left early when Taniya Bhatia was forced to retire hurt after taking a blow to the neck (and was later substituted out with a concussion) and Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandana both picked out mid-on against left-arm spin before the end of the fourth over. Australia was the only country remaining to complete the task.

Healy came down the pitch against Deepti Sharma on the opening delivery of the final and swung a boundary through midwicket. Since Sharma didn’t pitch the ball until her fourth delivery, the same thing might have easily happened on the following two deliveries as well.

India will never forget the moment Healy drilled a chance to cover where Verma had shelled it. Another exquisitely driven boundary through the covers concluded the first over, which came at a cost of fourteen runs. That early in the game, there seemed to be a significant swing in favour of Australia. Healy had five boundaries after two overs, and even though she only added one more in the next four, Australia had a commanding 49 for 0 at the end of the powerplay.

Also Read: Australia’s Dominance in T20 World Cup: Mooney’s Heroics Lead to Sixth Title

Healy And Mooney Gave Australia A Great Start

India immediately used their trump card on Poonam Yadav as the fielding restrictions were loosened. Mooney nudged her first delivery, which was a perfectly good googly, into the wrong side. Though it may seem like a tiny incident, the way that the delivery went so wrong in the Sydney Showground’s inaugural match was the root of many issues.

Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen Lead Australia to Fifth T20 World Cup Victory

Given Australia’s impressive start, they may potentially exert some pressure on her, particularly as the slaughter persisted on the other end. Healy was elevating things above. She hit the first 83 meters of two straight sixes off Rajeshwari Gayakwad, propelling her to a 30-ball fifty, the fastest by any man or female in an ICC global limited-overs final. However, the action didn’t stop there as she hit Shikha Pandey with three straight sixes, the third of which was an astonishingly good drive over cover.

Mooney’s innings encapsulated a lot of her career: she was mostly overlooked for a long time by a teammate, but upon closer inspection, she had scored the most runs in a pivotal innings. She was the ideal counterbalance to Healy’s early assault, passing the hit to her partner whenever possible but not before making a few striking shots of her own. After Healy was dismissed while attempting a sixth six, Mooney reached a half-century off 41 balls and then hit an exquisite inside-out cover drive from Radha Yadav.

To their credit, India managed to hold together. In her final over, Sharma hit two to take some small revenge by claiming Ash Gardner and Lanning. Despite having nine wickets at the beginning of the final five overs, they managed to score just 42 runs.

Megan Schutt Fired Back

Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen Lead Australia to Fifth T20 World Cup Victory

When Verma got hold of Schutt, her opening over of the competition against India ended at 16 runs. After the semifinal, she remarked, “Obviously, I don’t think I’m the best match-up to those two in the powerplay; they find me easy to play.” This time, it was a whole different story.

Verma set the tone with a stunning lofted drive first ball that found its way to the outfield, but two balls later she edged a delivery that was back of a length, and Healy captained her runs admirably, catching the ball up to the stumps. Australia’s initial three bowlers, Schutt, Jess Jonassen, and Sophie Molineux, all scored runs in their first overs. It was total control.

Despite her outstanding performances against Australia, Harmanpreet Kaur’s tournament has not gone well. It concluded with a slog-sweep that hit deep midwicket, leaving India at 30 for 4.

For Jonassen, who is equally as important to the squad as Mooney but does not often receive the same amount of playing time, it was another wicket. Australia might have easily let the game slip away in the last few overs, but their fielding and catching demonstrated once and for all how good they could be when it counted. The goal was achieved.

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