India humbled as Australia lift their 5th T20 World Cup title

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safari
08 Mar 2020 | 06:59 AM
authorShubh Aggarwal

India humbled as Australia lift their 5th T20 World Cup title

Four wickets in the first six overs broke the back of India's run-chase

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Bringing all their experience of playing five finals before this into play, Australia scripted one of the most glorious victories in their sporting history by thrashing India Women by 85 runs in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final to lift their fifth world title - the most by any professional T20I side and their first on home soil. 

India's top-order fell like house of cards after Australia posted a formidable 184 for 4 paving the way for another one-sided victory for Australia in the final at the MCG following Michael Clarke's men's side victory over New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup. 

Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur went one after another within the first six overs putting India's case weaker in the big final. Rodrigues, Mandhana and Kaur succumbed to pressure playing the ball in the air too early in their innings, Shafali failed to execute a late cut to the desired perfection as she guided the ball into Alyssa Healy's gloves. 

In between, Taniya Bhatia suffered a concussion while trying to sweep the left-arm spinner, Jess Jonassen. Taken off the field, she was later replaced by Richa Ghosh under the concussion substitute rule. India were 32 for four in the six overs.

In comparison, Australia had a rollicking start with Healy striking a boundary off the first ball of the innings. She struck two more boundaries and Australia raced to 49 for no loss in their six overs. Batting alongside Beth Mooney, she put on 115 for the first wicket off only 11.4 overs. The duo utilized the massive ground area to their advantage by hitting the balls consistently in the gaps to churn out boundaries - a facet in which the Indian Indian top-order failed miserably.

They were further helped by a dismal performance on the field by India who seemed to be overwhelmed by the occasion. While Healy was dropped by Shafali Verma on the fifth ball of the innings, Mooney received a reprieve from the left-arm spinner, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, in the fourth over who spilled a catch off her own bowling. On the other hand, Australia were brilliant in the field taking everything that came their way continuing the trend of contrasting performances across facets of the game. 

Healy was ultimately dismissed in the 12th over when she found Veda Krishnamurthy at long-on in a failed attempt to clear the boundary ropes off Radha Yadav. The wicketkeeper-batter notched up seven fours and five sixes in her 39-ball 75, two of which cleared MCG, the biggest cricket ground in the world. 

Mooney, after taking a backseat during the opening stand scoring only 38, upped the ante after Healy went back into the hut. The left-hander finished with an unbeaten 78 from 54 balls with 10 fours to her name. She also broke the record for most runs by a batter in a single edition of the Women's T20 World Cup amassing 259 runs bettering the record of her captain, Mag Lanning by two runs.

Indian spinners, who had been fantastic throughout the tournament were on the receiving end today conceding 131 runs for only three wickets in the 16 overs between them. While Deepti Sharma took two wickets, it was Gayakwad who was the pick of the bowlers conceding only 29 off her four overs. However, Shikha Pandey, the lone pacer in the attack, had a game to forget, leaking 52 runs in her four overs. India though, pulled Australia back in the death overs' phase conceding only 42 runs to keep the hosts under 200. 

But 184 proved to be too much for India who were nowhere close to the target having been bundled out for just 99 in 19.1 overs. Megan Schutt capped off a fantastic campaign, bagging 4 for 18 in the final to end up with 13 wickets - the most in the tournament. Jess Jonassen snaffled 3 for 20, while Sophie Molineux, Delissa Kimmince and Nicola Carey picked up a wicket apiece. 

Healy was adjudged as player-of-the-match while Mooney picked up the player-of-the-tournament award.

Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. Both sides went into the grand finale unchanged from their previous game. 

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