Hyderabad: The Indian women’s cricket team’s dream run came to an end as they lost the all-important final to four-time champions Australia at Melbourne by 85 runs on Women’s Day.
Team India were playing their first-ever final of the T20 World Cup as they directly qualified to the final as they topped the Group-A with 4 wins out of 4 games. Australia beat South Africa in a rain-affected thriller by 5 runs to make it to the final.
It was again set to be a repeat of the first match as India and Australia locked horns in the final. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first against a formidable Indian bowling line-up.
Although, the tables turned completely towards Australia as the destructive opening duo of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney hit the Indian bowlers all around the park. Whenever Harmanpreet Kaur tried something new, Australians made sure they had an answer to it. Healy in the process brought up her fifty in the final, in front of her husband and Australian cricketer, Mitchell Starc. She continued her dominance as the duo put up an opening stand of 115. Healy then got out for 75 as the stage was all set for a big total.
Although India were able to pick wickets with Deepthi Sharma picking 2 in an over, Australia found some way or the other to score runs. They ended up scoring 184/4 in their 20 overs.
India had a record total of 185 to chase down in order to be crowned the World T20 Champions for the very first time.
They had a shaky start as India’s 16-year-old superwoman couldn’t come to India’s rescue this time. She got out for 2. This only lead to a flurry of wickets as none of the Indian batters could find the sweet spot of their willows. Wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia went off the field due to a concussion after being hit on the head.
The Indian Skipper celebrating her 31st birthday too couldn’t save the team from trouble as the situation only worsened.
Deepthi Sharma top-scored with 33 as India bundled out for 99. The Australian women then created history as they were crowned the World T20 Champions for a record 5th time. The occasion was even more special as today marks the International Women’s Day.
Alyssa Healy was adjudged the player of the match for her destructive 75 on top of the order whereas her fellow opening partner Beth Mooney was named the player of the tournament for her 259 runs, the most by any in a single edition of the World T20.