Australia women’s cricket team continued their dominance by registering an emphatic 85-run win over India to clinch the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup for a record fifth time in their history on Sunday.
India had entered the final after a semifinal wash out against England in Sydney, but crumbled under pressure against the hosts in front of a record 86,174 strong crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Here are our talking points from today’s game.
1. Dropped catches cost India dear.
Alyssa Healy was on 9 when she was given a reprieve by Shafali Verma in the very first over of the game. The opener took full advantage as she went on to score the fastest half-century in an ICC final, smashing 75 off just 39 balls. Her innings comprised of seven fours and five sixes, and by the time she was done, India’s shoulders had visibly drooped.
Healy’s partner Beth Mooney was also dropped early in her innings, with spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad guilty on that occasion. Mooney’s composed innings of 78 took Australia to 184 and ensured she walked away with the Player of the Series award.
2. Rare failure for Shafali Verma.
The teenager has been instrumental in India’s road to the final, but suffered a rare failure here, dismissed for just 2. For many Indian viewers it was a sense of deja vu- this felt very much like Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal in the first over of the 2003 World Cup final by Glenn McGrath.
3. Shikha Pandey goes for 23 in one over
In this WT20 World Cup, 23 off three has proven tough to chase for many teams, and Indian pacer Shikha Pandey gave away that many in a single over. Pandey is the only pacer in the Indian lineup, and that 23 run over effectively put Australia on course for 180+, instead of the 150-160 they may have been targetting originally. Alyssa Healy hit her for three sixes, including an absolutely gorgeous one over extra cover.
4. Mandhana and Kaur fail again
With Verma falling cheaply, India needed the veteran duo of Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur to fire if they harboured any hopes of victory. Both- Kaur in particular, have been off colour in this tournament, and they again disappointed here, scoring only 11 and 4 respectively.
5. Record crowd for Womens’ Cricket in Australia
The MCG was packed to the rafters, and the 86,174 in attendance was a record for womens’ cricket in Australia. It saw the hosts complete an easy win, just as they had done in the men’s final at the same venue five years ago.