WORLD CHAMPIONS! Healy’s knock of a lifetime sets up fairytale win as India crumbles in T20 meltdown
March 8 has been built up as one of the biggest days on the sporting calendar for months – perhaps years – as the World Cup final continued to be spoken about.
Australia’s lackluster form during their tri-series contest with India and England had people querying how they could even be considered nearly unbackable favourites for the major tournament by the bookies.
Heck, Australia could’ve been bundled out without even firing a shot if Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning hadn’t saved the day in Perth in just their second game of the tournament.
But when all eyes took centre stage as Katy Perry and 86,174 screaming fans headed to the MCG on International Women’s Day, it was only going to end with yet another Aussie title.
Any pressure on Australia was easily relieved when Indian off-spinner Deepti Sharma failed to use the facilities with her first three deliveries.
And when she finally hit the pitch, Healy guided it to the boundary at third.
As she does on many occasions, the damaging opener gave an early chance. However, Shafali Verma didn’t hold onto it at cover – a crucial blow to India’s early chance at snatching momentum.
A number of drop catches and misfields followed, as India failed to settle at the ‘G.
With husband Mitchell Starc rushing back from South Africa to watch, Healy produced the best individual innings in an ICC T20 World Cup final, scoring 75 from just 39 balls.
Healy whacked the biggest six in the tournament – an 83 metre long bomb down the ground – and was caught aiming for her sixth of the match.
Her innings was over in the 12th over, hitting seven fours to all parts of the ground.
When Healy departed, Mooney just kept on powering as she has done for the entire tournament.
The left hander ended on 78*, compiling the most runs by any player in a single tournament.
Set 185 for victory, all eyes were on 16-year-old Verma to score the runs.
A huge stroke first ball of the innings down the ground brought about two runs, but who else but Healy popped up to take a caught behind and send her on her way.
India No.3 Taniya Bhatia was forced to retire hurt in the second over, before Jemimah Rodrigues became Jess Jonassen’s first victim.
At 2-8, it was fair to say the wheels had come off the India express.
With the top five on the scorecard reading 2, 11, 2*, 0 and 4 – it was all over for India as Aussie fans continued to show their voice.
India was outclassed in the crucial moments when it mattered.
But perhaps not even a World XI combined of the best players could stop Australia in its tracks, as the World Cup champions lifted the trophy for the second time in a row.