The most formidable team in women's cricket in the last couple of years, Australia lived up to all the expectations as they defeated hosts South Africa by 19 runs in the summit clash of the T20 World Cup at the Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town to clinch the coveted title for a record sixth time.
After opting to bat first, the reigning champions were powered to 156 for the loss of six wickets courtesy of a sublime 74 off 53 deliveries from Beth Mooney that laid the foundation for the team on a sluggish surface.
In the post-match press conference, the southpaw shared insights on her innings and the performance of the team and said, "They bowled well in the power play. I thought our power play wasn't too bad, but unfortunately, we lost Midge there."
"I actually asked one of the girls who ran out if she could ask Shell if she wanted to retire me because I was hitting it that bad. You know, it just goes to show if you hang in there long enough and get the pace of the wicket and probably didn't have a great plan through the middle there stepping across and trying to hit it too square, but once I stayed a bit stiller and hit it a bit straighter it wasn't too bad," she further added.
Mooney also heaped praises on the player of the tournament, Ash Gardner, for her all-around contributions that helps Australia lend balance to their playing XI.
Incredible Ash!— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 26, 2023
Presenting the #T20WorldCup Player of the Tournament pic.twitter.com/ZrPvUe1dQo
"She's matured immensely across the last few years just off the field, and she's probably in a sweet spot as well in terms of how comfortable and confident she is with her own game."
"She's making some match-winning contributions very consistently for this Australian team, so I've been really impressed with what I've seen from Ash, and she's going to be around for a long time, so hopefully, she can continue to produce those games," Mooney said.
With Rachael Haynes retiring after the Commonwealth Games and Meg Lanning taking an indefinite break from the sport, Australia were in a spot of bother leading up to the mega event.
However, Lanning was back in action in the home series against Pakistan, and since then, the skipper has been a massive influence on this group and her five World Cup titles as captain is a testament to that fact.
"Well, I got my coffee buddy back, so I'm pretty happy and game day breakfast buddy. When she retires, I think she'll go down as one of the greatest leaders not just in cricket but in sports as well. I think she's got an immense cricket brain."
"She's cool, calm and collected under pressure, and she's got empathy as well. She understands how people feel in certain situations because she's been there before and she's experienced a lot as a person and as a leader so she'll go down as one of the greatest ever for our team, and we're very lucky to have her," she concluded.