With some starry names that we’ve known for a long time now to the ones who’ve been exciting talents everyone has looked forward to see perform, ICC Women’s World Cup T20 kick started on 9th November with India defeating the Kiwi women followed by the next where the hosts outstayed Bangladesh and the third where Australia came out victorious against the Pakistan women.
The game between Pakistan and Australia was one that had a lot of expectations to live upto and with the excitement to deal with, after a point of time had become one sided with Australia having more of the weightage! The teams having a good combination of experience and beginners surely made the cricket fans look forward to the game.
I remember writing about Australian Captain Meg Lanning when the WWCL was taking place and how she’ll be someone to follow with the World Cup being round the corner. The skipper scored a crucial 41 runs from the 34 balls that she faced after having won the toss and electing to bat first. Her knock included three 4s and one 6.
The Australian openers Healy and Mooney set the stage for their team scoring 48 runs each at the strike rate of 165.5 and 123.1 respectively. Where Healy never let the Pakistan women heal from their wound, Mooney surely took their team over the team, registering their first win of the tournament. Healy was in the mood and she gave the opponents no time to relax and clearly pointed out that they are not going to have it easy. She scored 48 runs off only 29 balls where her partner scored it off 39. Their partnership included fourteen 4s and one 6 out of which 8 came from Healy and 6 from Mooney and the only six was hit by Alyssa.
The first three bats women scored 137 runs in total with the next three contributing their bit in taking the teams total to 165-5 at the end of 20 overs. The economy rate where the bowling department of the chasing team is concerned was relatively high. They key bowler Sana Mir had nothing to her relief as well. Nashra Sandhu and Aliya Riaz got two wickets each with an economy rate of 10.8 and 6.2 respectively. The women in green did well to affect the crucial run out of Elyse Villani. To win they had to chase the above par target set at the run rate of 8.25 per over.
The Javeria Khan led team could not go beyond 113 runs for 8 wickets at the end of 20 overs with the Yellow Team winning by 52 runs. Unlike their opponents they could never capitalise on their start with both the openers having to go back to the pavilion with only 2 and 9 runs respectively to their names. Just when the women looked to stabilise the situation and set a stage, the Australians came back with a much needed breakthrough. Never letting the opponents settle on field, from then on there was no coming back for the Greens. The captain couldn’t do much as well and their key player Sana Mir tried to do her bit but with no one to give her the support she remained at 20 runs not out. Schutt gave her team the very first wicket of Zafar and ended with 2 wickets to her name. The Australians were always in the game with the execution of their plans with the perfect touch. They never let the game slip from their hands and maintained a decent economy rate all through their bowling. Perry being a little expensive giving 12 runs in the only over that she bowled, was covered up for by her team mates who were tough with their opponents throughout the game.
Healy, being the woman of the match for her quick 48 runs was all smiles at the post match. She knew she had done her bit and gave her team the exact kind of a start that they needed. Contributing on the field with a stumping and affecting a run out, she surely deserved the praise. Skipper Lanning, also quite happy with her team’s performance only looks to keep moving forward with this sort of an attitude and without complacency. The Javeria Khan led team, however, would look to improve in their games ahead in the tournament and remember that its just the start and they’ve got to learn and move on taking the loss in their stride and the positives from the game.
Australia women 165 for 5 (Healy 48, Mooney 48, Riaz 2-25, Sandhu 2-43) beat Pakistan 113 for 8 (Maroof 26, Mir 20*, Schutt 2-13, Wareham 2-18) by 52 runs