ICC Women’s World Cup T20 Final: 5 points to remember
From the gesture of Alyssa Healy's equal-half to Harmanpreet Kaur's b'day bash gone wrong, here are the juicy bits from the Women's T20 World Cup final.
Hubby Starc smiles as Healy strikes
Alyssa Healy was out of form before the beginning of the T20 World Cup. There were several analysis pieces on how many innings the wicketkeeper had gone without scoring an international half-century and what she needed to correct in her batting technique.
However, Healy did little of that and was back at her classic best as soon as the tournament began. Her performance in the World Cup final was no different. After she was dropped by Shafali Verma, there was no looking back as the wicketkeeper struck at 192.31 and blasted 75 runs off just 39 deliveries, with 7 fours and 5 sixes.
Every time she hit one of these boundaries, the camera cut to hubby Mitchell Starc who had taken an early leave from the boys in South Africa. Alyssa Healy had been there at the 2015 Men's ODI World Cup final when Australia walked away with the trophy; it was now time to return the favour. There was hardly a moment when Starc was able to resist his smile.
MCG pressure too much for Indian Eves
There was an attendance of over 87,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the final. Let alone India, even the Australian women's team is not used to such big crowds despite some Women's Big Bash League matches garnering impressive numbers. The match was a day-night fixture which is also not a common occurrence in the women's game.
Add to that the cheering spectators and the synchronised claps as the bowler ran in to bowl. Katy Perry's opening 'fireworks' to the bands that played throughout the game.
The atmosphere there was electric and one that has hardly been witnessed at women's game. All this got to the Indian team and they ended up looking like a pale shadow of themselves.
Aussie pitch ends french leave
"It's a rock hard surface, there's some nice grass on it. Not sure how much turn spinners will get on this surface. The ball will come on to the bat," Nasser Hussain said at the pitch report.
Right through the tournament, the Australian pitches - probably because the time being towards the end of the season - have hardly been the typical Aussie surfaces. Be it the surface at Perth in the opening fixture or the strip at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, the surfaces have been slow and low. However, the the drop-in prototype wicket used for the final suited the Australian bowling attack and took the sting out of the Indian spin quartet.
Brilliance meets mediocrity
Juxtapose the dropped sitter by Shafali Verma against the brilliantly judged catch that Beth Mooney took of Deepti Sharma off the bowling of Nicola Carey at the edge of the circle or the diving catch by Jess Jonassen off Delissa Kimmince to dismiss Veda Krishnamurthy and there is the difference between the two teams for you, right there.
Some of the boundaries that were saved by Jess Jonassen were truly stunning. On the contrary, some of the fielding efforts by Indians were really poor, which was also highlighted by Harmanpreet Kaur in the post-match presentation.
B'day girl doesn't have her gift
Harmanpreet Kaur, on an individual front, has had a a forgettable tournament. While as a skipper she can be mighty proud of the team's effort as they did not lose a single game until the final but Kaur has struggled to get the ball off the square. And, if she was hoping for a miraculous turnaround in the final, that did not turn out quite as planned.
What rubbed salt on the wounds was that March 8, the international Women's Day, or the day of the T20 World Cup final also coincided with her birthday. Don't think there is much celebration in store for this one.
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