|Beth Mooney||not out||78||54||10||0|
|Nicola Carey||not out||5||5||1||0|
Tennis legend Billie Jean King is posing with the victorious Aussie team, after spending some time with the Indians early on. And with that note, we would like to take your leave as well. Congratulations Australia, commiserations for every other team which participated. And a special thank you for all the readers who are still reading this, in spite of the match getting over long back. Hopefully, we will get your company in future soon. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Harmanpreet Kaur is looking distraught and angry. But she would understand that it was one bad day. Else, there was no argument over the fact that India were the best team of the tournament. They say, batsmen win you matches. Bowlers win you tournaments. What they do not say is - fielding can win you games, but can also lose you some. Sadly for India, their worst fielding display came on the final night. Something they need to work upon and get better at.
Meg Lanning cannot wait. But Melanie Jones understands that Lanning is itching to go and join her team in lifting the trophy. And so she relieves her of more questions. Meg just rushes towards her team and AUSTRALIA HOLD THE TROPHY ALOFT! Perhaps, if, before 21st February, 2020, had anyone asked whether Australia would be the champions - the answer would have been YES. But an opening match loss to India, followed by some indifferent performances along the way, raised some doubts. But as true champions, the Kangaroos bounced all those off and have gone on to record their 5th T20 World Cup title. Take a bow.
Victorious Australian skipper, Meg Lanning, says that she is really proud of this group of players. Admits that they had ups and downs, scraped through to the semi-finals but eventually, played their best in the final. Also agrees that it was tough for Australia to deal with the home World Cup pressure, especially after losing their first game. But then praises every member of her team for having her back on the other and sticking together as a group. Praises her batting openers for coming prepared and executing a plan against a dangerous Indian opposition. Does not want to comment too much on Megan Schutt's off-field comments but says that she is her best bowler and always believed that she will perform. Thanks the crowd, the fans and the support staff for this amazing tournament.
Time for medallions for the Aussie Women.
Indian captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, gets a massive applause. Agrees that the way India played in the league stage, it was outstanding and feels unfortunate for the no-show in the final. Admits that the loss is purely because of the poor fielding and says that whenever they get out on a ground next, need to understand that fielding is very important. Stresses that the future is very bright, just that they need to believe in one another. Agrees that they were always confident of doing well in this tournament but their first win over Australia lifted them to really high spirits. On the forced 8-day break before the final, Kaur, without saying that it dented their momentum, indirectly admits that it hurt them. Feels that India are on the right line because every year they are improving, citing their previous big tournament finish as being the semi-finalists in 2018. Hopes that the team gets more success and consistency in future. Is looking forward to the upcoming Women's Challenge, as that will show the depth of India's future.
The Indian team now gets its medallions.
BETH MOONEY HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT. Unlike Healy, Beth cannot suppress the tears in her eyes. Says that she is at a loss of words. Feels that it was an unbelievable tournament and thanks the crowd. On her consistency, Mooney says that it was all about riding the waves and sticking to your purposes. Praises Healy for making life easier for her by going after the bowlers in the Powerplay. Does not feel that the opening match loss got them down, rather, says that the team focused on how they lost that game and learnt from it. Adds that she likes to challenge herself, find new ways of being the best and is proud of her team. Thanks the selectors for giving her an opportunity to play in this World Cup and the support staff for keeping her fit.
ALYSSA HEALY HAS BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. Says that it was an unbelievable applause and thanks the entire crowd. On the smile on her face, Healy says that even if Australia had lost, they would have been smiling, simply because of the opportunity they got to play in a home World Cup final. On her loss of form in this tournament, Alyssa bluntly says that she never felt out of touch, just needed a bit of luck, which, she says she got in the first game and just used that momentum in every game. As far as the final is concerned, Healy credits Mooney for rotating the strike, allowing her to hit the big shots and then hitting them herself after Alyssa's dismissal. Adds that they enjoy each other's company in the middle and looks forward to more of such partnerships.
The match officials now get their medallions.
Spare a thought for Shafali Verma. She dropped Alyssa Healy in the very first over and deep down, would be feeling that she is the sole person responsible for this loss. But Harmanpreet Kaur consoles her. Next, Richa Ghosh and Radha Yadav get across and hug Shafali. She bursts into tears. Poor kid, but these are moments which make you strong. You learn from your mistakes and then look forward to a better future. Time now for the actual presentation...
The Australians are in a huddle. Meg Lanning becomes just the third Aussie captain after Lyn Larsen (1988) and Michael Clarke (2015) to win a home cricket World Cup. She is besides herself with joy. She was quoting before this match that this is THE most important game in her career and boy, did her team win it for her. The dedication is going towards Ellyse Perry, whom they actually should have missed, but it did not seem like. Every player seemed to double the effort to counter for Perry's absence and it was as if 14 players were playing in the final for the Aussies.
Michael Clarke now has got Jess Jonassen. She says that she is feeling absolutely incredible as she had never played in front of such a massive crowd. On the Mexican Waves around the ground, Jonassen tells that she was telling one of her teammates that it was really amazing. On the overall tournament, she says that they started a bit poorly but reached here and did what they could do best.
Ashleigh Gardner says winning it in front of the your home crowd is very special. Further adds she would like to congratulate India on how they played. States it is an honour and she loves playing for her country. On playing in front of 86,000 people, she says that she never thought she would get the opportunity and enjoyed watching the Mexican Wave.
Megan Schutt is down for a quick chat with Michael Clarke. She says that she is absolutely overwhelmed. Tells that she was really excited before the game and was waiting for the game. On their batting, Schutt feels that the openers got out to bat with a lot of confidence. On their way of handling the pressure, Schutt says that they just wanted to enjoy the final in front of such a huge crowd.
Rachael Haynes is down for an interview. On the atmosphere, she says it was terrific and they have had good support throughout the tournament. Further adds they have generally been very dominant but they had to fight throughout this tournament, they have had injury issues but it all ended well. Ends by saying it is a really special moment for them and it is very special to be involved in this.
Coming to the run chase, it always helps when you have 180-plus behind your back. India were behind the 8-ball right from the first ball of the run chase and the early departure of Shafali Verma just opened the floodgates. Only four batters reached double figures with not even a single 50-stand. Certainly, there could have been some more fight shown. But sadly for India, their crux of batting firepower - Mandhana, Rodrigues and Kaur - flopped miserably - not only here but in general throughout the tournament. India were 4 down in the Powerplay itself. Schutt and Jonassen did most of the damage, sharing 7 wickets between them in the match. Please stay tuned for plenty of interviews and the post-match presentation...
Sometimes, there are some days, there are some moments when you just feel it is your day. Perhaps Alyssa Healy sensed that towards the end of the Powerplay. She suddenly exploded post the fielding restrictions and that is where, we feel, the game was lost. 93 runs came in those 9 overs for the loss of just 1 wicket. India were pegged back. The game was gone.
We can start by how the run chase began but was the match lost at the toss itself? It did seem like India were thinking like that. They simply did not look pumped up and perhaps felt that chasing at the MCG is pretty imposing. And then, that played on their nerves. First, Alyssa Healy was dropped in the first over. Then, Beth Mooney was given a chance in the 4th. That just told the nerves and emotions India were going through and Australia pounced.
Cricket is all about techniques, your game sense, your footwork, your timing, your skill, etc, etc, etc... It is also about one more thing. That thing which is not taught by any coach or in any dictionary or in any book. NERVES. You need to get that by experience and try and get better at it. Australia were nervous because this unit was playing its first home World Cup final. India were nervous as well because they were playing their first ever World Cup final in the T20 format for the Eves. In a battle of nerves, Australia triumphed. Rather, India let themselves down.
Well, Australia can celebrate, so can the crowd. But surely, the supporters deserved better? Not just the Indian supporters but a sport fan in general. A big-hyped final, watched by millions around the globe, surely deserved to have a better contest. Sadly, there was no contest. Only one team was playing.
5-TIME WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS. Take a bow, Australia. You lost the first game. Nearly lost the second. Scraped through to the semis. Just about got helped by luck and rain gods to reach the final. But cometh the final, cometh the hour, the World Champions, the defending champions, strut their stuff, reserving their best for the last.
OUT! CAUGHT! Excellent running catch and Australia celebrate! They have won the 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup. It is celebration time. Length ball on middle, Poonam mistimes her slog towards mid-wicket. Gardner from the deep comes charging forward and holds onto the catch. AUSTRALIA WIN BY 85 RUNS!
Another tossed up ball on off, Yadav comes down the track and hits it to the right of the bowler who dives and stops it. 99/9
Slower through the air and on off, defended.
Fired on middle, this is swept through square leg for one.
The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
On off, defended.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad is the last batter in.
OUT! Number 9 goes down! Australia just the one wicket away from the win. Radha uses her feet and gets to the pitch of it. She looks to lift it over mid on but gifts a simple catch to Mooney there.
Shortish and wide outside off, Poonam looks to cut but misses. Healy behind the wickets whips the bails off quickly and appeals but not out says the square leg umpire. 97/8
Full and around off, this one is driven towards mid off uppishly.
Dropped but what an effort from Mooney at mid off. Full and just outside off, Radha looks to clear the ropes but once again there is no timing. The ball goes up in the air over the bowler's head. Mooney runs to her right, makes a lot of ground, gets her hand to the ball but fails to catch. A single taken.
Poonam Yadav walks in now.
OUT! CAUGHT! India 8 down now and Australia are wrapping this up quickly. The Indian skipper in the dugout looks distraught. Length ball around off, Ghosh looks to slog it on the leg side but once again an Indian batter fails to time it. It goes towards mid-wicket where Carey swallows the skier easily.
EDGY FOUR! Shortish and just outside off, Ghosh looks to cut but the ball takes the outside edge and races away to the third man fence.
Radha Yadav walks in for the final rites of this match.
OUT! CAUGHT! Another brilliant take! Schutt has her second. Full and outside off, Shikha looks to drive on the up but the ball hits the high end of her bat and lobs towards mid off uppishly. Mooney there runs back and takes a very good catch. Australia just 3 wickets away.
Lands safe! A slower one on middle, Pandey swings but only manages to hit it high towards deep mid-wicket for one. 92/6
Very full and on off, Pandey looks to jam it out but gets an inside edge onto the pads.
On off, this is dragged through mid-wicket for one.
A slower one on middle, it jags back in a little after pitching. Pandey looks to flick but misses to get hit on the pads. It rolls on the off side for one. No signal from the umpire so there might be an inside edge.
Richa comes down the track and strokes it towards extra cover. She goes for it. Jonassen does really well. She moves to her right, slides, picks the ball up and has a shy at the non-striker's end but luckily for Richa, she misses.
OUT! Another one bites the dust! Deepti Sharma holes out now! It is a short ball outside off, Deepti flat-bats it down towards long on. She does not get the distance and Mooney takes a good catch diving forward. Shikha Pandey walks out to bat now.
Loopy and around off, Sharma takes a step forward and across before turning it behind square leg. Takes a run, Ghosh looks for the second as well but it's not on. 88/5
Nicely tossed up ball around middle, Ghosh tries to go hard at it but it takes the inner half and rolls through mid-wicket for a run.
Flighted around leg, Deepti sweeps it behind square leg for a single.
Flatter one, around off, Ghosh gets down on one knee and heaves it across the line. Doesn't time it too well and it goes towards wide long on for one.
Up and over the infield! Loopy and full ball around off, Sharma walks down the track again and slices her attempted inside-out shot over cover-point. A single taken.
Flighted delivery, landing full around off, Deepti advances down the track and flicks it with gentle hands to deep mid-wicket for a couple of runs. The throw is towards the keeper but Sharma is safely in with a full length dive.
On the pads, this time Sharma sweeps it to deep square leg. Just a run again. Singles will not do any harm to the Aussies. 81/5
Full and on off, pushed through covers for a single.
Short and wide outside off, Richa cuts it well but the point fielder dives to make an excellent stop. She though fails to give the ball at the right end to run the batter down.
Full and outside off, Richa strokes it through mid off but only a run as there is a protection in the deep.
Flatter and around off, Sharma lofts it on the up over extra cover this time but once again just a single.
Short and on middle, Deepti pulls it towards deep mid-wicket for a single.
Driven towards the mid on region. The batsmen have run through for a single. 76/5
EDGY FOUR! Shorter and outside off, Deepti slashes it but it goes off the outside edge down towards third man for a boundary.
Brilliant effort from Jonassen! This is fuller and around off, it is lofted over the mid off fielder. JJ runs after it and just at the end, with a forward dive, flicks it back in with her left hand. Saves two for her side.
Safe! Shorter and around off, Richa comes down the track and looks to pull but ends up mistiming it towards third man for one.
Shorter and on the body, Richa looks to pull but misses to get hit on the body.
Length and around middle, this is hit down towards long on for one.
Excellent stop! That ball was destined to go the fence but what a stop from the sweeper cover fielder. Full and outside off, Ghosh lofts it over extra cover. The ball is racing towards the fence but the fielder from sweeper cover moves to her right and makes an excellent stop. She flicks it back to mid-wicket running back and the duo saves a couple for its side. 67/5
Flatter and around off, Ghosh keeps it out.
Down the leg side again, Sharma sweeps it to fine leg for a single.
Full and outside off, Ghosh this time lobs it over cover for a single.
FOUR! Finally the ball finds the ropes. India have nothing to lose now. Full and just outside off, Ghosh lofts it over extra cover for a boundary.
Full and angling in, Deepti sweeps it towards deep square leg for a run.
Three dots to end as the last ball is played towards point. 58/5
On the shorter side again, it is slapped hard but straight to covers.
Good length and on off, it is pushed towards cover.
Concussion substitute Richa Ghosh replaces Veda Krishnamurthy in the middle.
OUT! TAKEN! A very good catch by Jonassen! India now have half the side back in the hut. It is a length delivery, Veda looks to go over mid off but once again the timing is not quite right. Jonassen takes a good catch as she needed to time her jump as the ball is above her head. Does so perfectly and takes it neatly.
Fuller and around off, it is whipped through mid-wicket for one.
Shorter in length, this is pulled through mid-wicket for one.
Update - Taniya Bhatia has failed the concussion test and another teenager Richa Ghosh has been named as the concussion substitute.
Another dot! On a length again, this is guided towards point. 56/4
Shorter and around off, this is pushed towards cover.
Another single! On off, this is guided towards point for one.
Good length and around off, it is guided towards point.
A direct hit and that would have been a goner! Length and around off, it is guided towards point. The batter takes off. The fielder has a shy but misses.
Another couple! On the shorter side around middle, Veda pulls it through mid-wicket and takes two.
Well played but still no boundary! Veda comes down the track and lofts it over the bowler's head. The fielder at long on runs to her left and keeps it down to two. 51/4
Shortish and around off, it is cut towards point.
On middle, this is worked through mid-wicket for one. 50 up for India. A pretty laboured one.
This is fuller and on middle, it is eased down to long on for one.
Floats it up outside off, this is hit down to long on for one.
A full toss on middle, this is hit down to long on for one.
Sophie Molineux is back on. 2-0-7-1 are her numbers so far.
Full and on the pads, this time it is flicked down to deep square leg for a run. 46/4
Play and a miss! Shortish and just outside off again, Krishnamurthy looks to tap it on the off side off her back foot but she misses.
Short and around off, this time Krishnamurthy finds point.
FOUR! That is a welcome boundary for India and the fans will hope they break the shackles. Kimmince bowls it full and wide outside off, Krishnamurthy goes on the back foot and does really well to squeeze it past the short third man fielder for a boundary.
Flatter and outside off, driven to sweeper cover for a run.
Short and around off and middle, Krishnamurthy pulls it towards deep mid-wicket for a run.
Kimmince is back on!
Shorter and around off, this is guided to point. Another good over for Australia. 39/4
On a length and around off, this is pushed towards cover for one.
Fuller in length and outside off, Veda looks to drive but gets an inside edge onto the pads.
On a length and around off, this is pushed towards cover for one.
Shorter and on middle, this is pulled through mid-wicket for one.
A couple! Once again India struggling to hit the boundaries! On the pads, this is worked nicely towards deep backward square leg for two.
Nicola Carey into the attack now.
Tossed up on off, driven to long off for a single. Just 2 from the over. 34/4
Shortish and on off and middle, Krishnamurthy cuts it but finds short third man this time.
Flatter one on middle, pushed to mid-wicket for nothing.
Full and on middle, this time Krishnamurthy finds mid-wicket.
Full and around off, Krishnamurthy strokes it towards mid off and doesn't take a run.
Floated on middle, Sharma works it towards mid-wicket and takes a run.
Sophie Molineux is back on. 1-0-5-1 from her so far.
Leading edge but safe! Jonassen floats it up on the pads, Veda looks to flick it against the turn. She gets a soft leading edge towards point. End of the Powerplay, it has been all Australia, India are 32 for 4. 32/4
A single now as this is worked through mid-wicket.
What was that? This is way down the leg side, almost outside the pitch. Deepti lets it be. Healy does well to dive and take it.
Veda Krishnamurthy joins Deepti Sharma in the middle.
OUT! KAUR HOLES OUT! That is probably the game for the hosts! They are absolutely ecstatic and rightly so. They have suffered in the hands of Kaur before but this time, no heroics. Kaur looks to step on the gas which she needs to. She brings out the slog sweep but hits it high up in the air towards deep mid-wicket. Gardner there makes no mistake.
FOUR! Up and over! India will hope this gets Kaur going. On off, Kaur lofts it over the cover fielder. The fielder there hares after it and slides but fails to pull it back.
Kaur comes down the track but does not get to the pitch of the ball. She pushes it to mid off.
Fires it on the pads, Kaur looks to flick but misses to get hit on the pads. An appeal but it is turned down.
Jess Jonassen is back on. 1-0-5-1 from her so far.
On the shorter side and outside off, Sharma slaps it nicely but straight to cover-point. 26/3
WIDE! Well wide outside off, it is left alone. Wided.
On off, it is driven towards mid off.
Another shortish delivery around off, it is guided towards point.
Shorter and on middle, this is pulled towards mid-wicket for a couple.
Good length and on off, it is guided towards point.
Shorter and around off, Sharma pushes it to covers.
Delissa Kimmince is on now.
Another dot for Kaur! This is floated up on off, it is driven to covers. 23/3
A single! Outside off, turning back in. Deepti sweeps it through mid-wicket for one.
Loopy ball on off, Deepti works it with the turn to mid-wicket.
Floated up outside off, Deepti opens the face of the bat and guides it to point.
FOUR! Good start for Deepti! This is on the pads, she works it fine on the leg side and bags a boundary.
Deepti Sharma is in with her team under massive pressure.
OUT! In the air... taken! Mandhana has her head down and rightly so. India are crumbling at the moment. Three wickets in the Powerplay and not many teams win a game after losing that many in the first 6. It is a soft dismissal. It is tossed up on off, Mandhana looks to loft it over mid off but gets no power behind it. It is a straightforward chance for Carey who takes it.
Sophie Molineux to bowl now.
Two dots to end but a good over for India. On a length again, Kaur keeps it out nicely. 18/2
Good length and on off, it is kept out.
A single now, good batting! Shorter and around off, Mandhana guides it towards point for one.
FOUR! Nicely played! Slightly short and outside off, Mandhana waits for it and then guides it past backward point for another boundary. Second in the over.
Slightly shorter in length, not a lot of room on offer. SM looks to cut but ends up chopping it on the off side.
FOUR! Sloppy effort in the field that! Welcome boundary for India. They need a few more in the Powerplay! This is full and outside off, Mandhana lofts it over covers. There is a sweeper in the deep who runs to her left, dives and tries to push it back in but fails to do so.
WIDE! Way too far outside off, Mandhana lets it be.
Harmanpreet Kaur is in early.
OUT! CAUGHT! India two down! Australia dictating terms in this run chase. Full and around middle and leg, Rodrigues comes down the track and looks to clear mid on but fails to time it. It goes straight to Carey there and she gobbles it with ease. The Aussies right on top. 8/2
The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
Dropped short, Mandhana pulls it to deep mid-wicket and takes a run.
WIDE! Down the leg side, Rodrigues looks to work it on the leg side but misses. It goes behind but Healy fails to collect. Had she collected, she could've got the chance of stumping Rodrigues. The ball deflects towards fine leg and a run is taken.
Jemimah Rodrigues replaces Bhatia.
The Indian physio comes charging in to check with Bhatia. Time for the mandatory concussion test. Well, Bhatia is going off.
Ouch! That is hit on the grill. A flatter ball around off and middle, Bhatia goes for the sweep but swings a little too early. She misses and gets hit on her grill. She looks a bit shaken.
Angled into the pads, Mandhana tucks it towards mid-wicket where the fielder fumbles and allows a single.
Floated around off, Bhatia comes down the track and pushes it to mid off for a single.
Jess Jonassen to bowl from the other end.
Timed nicely but excellent stop. Shortish and outside off, Mandhana stays on the back foot and cuts but can't beat the fielder at point. 3/1
In the air... but safe. Fuller and outside off, Bhatia lofts it wide of mid off and takes for a run. The fielder there does well to field it.
Full and around off, Bhatia pushes it towards covers.
Promotion! Taniya Bhatia has been sent up at number 3. The keeper goes back to the stumps.
OUT! CAUGHT! Shafali falls and Schutt is all pumped up. What a start for Australia. Excellent from Healy behind the wickets too. Schutt drops it short and just around off, Verma looks to cut it off the back foot really late but the ball takes a faint outside edge and goes behind. Healy with a safe pair of hands catches it. The bowler puts in a loud appeal and the umpire raises the finger. The 16-year-old makes her long walk back. An excellent tournament for her but she fails to put an impact in this grand final.
Full and just outside off, pushed towards covers.
WOW! What a start from Shafali! The teenager shows absolutely shows no nerves and launches the first ball she faces over the bowler's head. It goes little too high and drops near the ropes and just stops. Two taken.
We are back for the run chase! The Aussie women are in the huddle. They are getting the final advice from their skipper. Out come the two Indian openers, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana. Megan Schutt with the ball first up. Alyssa Healy is up to the stumps. Here we go...