India vs Australia, Women’s T20 World Cup final: 2 drop catches cost India dearly - Alyssa Healy 75, Beth Mooney 78* and a 115-run stand
Australia openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney got off to flying start after Australia captain Meg Lanning won the toss and decided to bat first in the Women’s T20 World Cup final against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Healy and Mooney put on a 115-run opening stand as Australia finished with 184 for 4 batting first. Healy smashed 75 off just 39 balls while Mooney remained with 78. But both the Australian openers were helped by the Indian fiddlers. The Indian women’s team fielders were all nerves as they dropped both Healy and Mooney inside the powerplay which cost India 136 runs (Considering only the individual runs). Healy was batting on 9 and Mooney was on 8.
Australia wicket-keeper and opener Healy had come out intending to take the attack to the Indian spinners right from the word go. She made her intentions clear by charging down the track to hit Deepti Sharma for a boundary past long-on in the first ball of the T20 World Cup final.
Healy hit another boundary, this time on the backfoot in the fourth ball. But the Australian took another chance and did not get all of it. She spooned it cover, where Shafali Verma was stationed but the teenager dropped the catch.
Healy made full use of the dropped chance and continued on her merry way and hit three more boundaries in her next four deliveries.
In the fourth over of the Australia innings, Beth Mooney was dropped. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad failed to hold on to a low return catch.
Thanks to the reprieves The Australian openers brought up their fifty in 6.1 overs.
Apart from the two drop catches, there were at least two instances when the fielders in the inner-ring let the ball slip away from their grasp.
After the powerplay, Healy started to attack more as the lacklustre bowling from India’s bowlers continued. She hit Gayakwad for 16 runs in an over including two sixes in the 8th over. She got to her fifty in just 30 balls.
Healy took her assault to a different level by hitting a hat-trick of sixes off Shikha Pandey in the 11th over. There were no answers from the Indian bowlers. They erred both on length and line.
The Australia keeper was dismissed by Radha Yadav in the 12th over but by then the damage was already done. Healy, who was dropped on 8 went on to score 75 off 39 balls. And the opening partnership of Australia read 115.
While Healy was going all guns blazing, Mooney at the other end was doing no mean job by not only giving Healy good company but also going after the Indian spinners.
Mooney batted through the innings and remained unbeaten on 78.