It all came up to today when the team had to put in their all to fix a place in the final and it was Australia who played extremely well on the day of semi-finals to defeat West Indies, the defending champions. And it was Alyssa Healy, the Australian wicketkeeper batsman who was magical tonight. Defending champions were in tears as they made exit from the WC today by losing the match to Australia by massive 71 runs.
Electing to ball, West Indies restricted Australia at 142-5 in 20 overs. They lost an early wicket in form of Mooney (6) but Alyssa Healy and Lanning put forth 51 runs partnership for 3rd wicket. Alyssa Healy was extremely good with bat. Perfect timings, perfect shots, she seemed unstoppable at a moment. It was Afy Fletcher who dismissed Healy when she was only four runs away from her half century. 46 runs in 38 balls with four boundaries and one six, strike rate of 121.05.
Captain Lanning played a supporting role in Healy’s innings as she scored 31 in 39 balls with two boundaries. Gardner (14) and Villani (6) lost their wicket early. After the heroics of Healy and Lanning it was R Haynes who played well for the team by scoring 25 in 15 balls (4x4s) and remained not out.
Although the bowlers picked up few wickets they couldn’t really restrict Australia from scoring those quick singles and big shots at regular interval. All bowler except Connel, took 1 wicket each. The least ER (5) was of S Taylor, who took 1 wicket in her spell of 4 overs by giving 20 runs.
Chasing 145 on the night of semi – finals is no easy task but, as it was the defending champions on the field with bat it looked more than possible. Hayley Matthews and D Dottin opened the innings. Both of them failed to deliver as Matthews (5) lost her wicket to a brilliant run-out by Healy and Dottin (6) got bowled out by Perry. S Taylor the captain and the most experienced player in West Indies squad was the only one to score more than 10 runs as she hit 16 runs in 28 balls with 1 boundary. No one else could held their nerves at that moment and kept giving their wickets and eventually the match.
Perry, Kimmince and Gardner picked 2 wickets each. Perry took those 2 wickets in 2 overs from which 1 was maiden by giving 2 runs (economy rate 1), was the best bowler for Australia today. With 15 balls to spare Australia took away the match from West Indies and entered the final stage towards achieving the trophy which could make them World Champion for the 4th time.
Meg Lanning – A bit of everything – we were so ready for tonight’s game, we just had to turn up and we knew if we remained calm, we could get the job done. It’s a happy group at the moment but we know we have one more to go. I thought we played well tonight. The conditions were tough for batting. Batting is certainly one of our strength. Rachel Haynes did a great job to get us to the 140 run mark. I knew if we could pull back the run-rate and a few quick wickets, we could get the job done.
Stafanie Taylor : After we saw the pitch today, we thought bowling was the better option. We let them get away in the last 6 overs – that was crucial. Even though they got 142, as batsmen we just didn’t bat properly. Everyone is different (about what got to the Windies) – I might have to ask them what affected them when I get back in the dressing room. We came into this game with a lot of confidence, but we just didn’t get going with the bat. I just want to thank the crowds in St. Lucia and Guyana for supporting us. Just one of those days we’re sorry we couldn’t get over the line.
Alyssa Healy, Player of the match : Not frustrated at all (about missing the last game), you only get one brain and you use the downtime to get better. The pitch was really tricky, they left some fluffiness on the top and it was pretty difficult. I was sure our bowlers would do the job. I have had glasses for the lst six months but haven’t worn them on cricket field; I can see a lot clearly now and might stick to wearing it in the future too. Not thinking too much of the final, we loved coming into this tournament and into this game as underdogs. It was an awesome atmosphere. Not too sure if we’d be sticking around here to watch the next game, we need to celebrate this win, get back into the dressing room and enjoy each other’s company.
Brief scores :
Australia won by 71 runs.
Australia 142-5 in 20 overs (Healy 46 runs, Lanning 31 runs, R Haynes 25 runs; S Taylor 1/20)
West Indies 71-10 in 17.3 overs (S Taylor 16 runs, Henry 8 runs, Campbelle 7 runs; Ellyse Perry 2/1)