A momentous day for World Cricket. Over 80,000 in attendance at the MCG and several hundred million eye balls watching around the world on TV. Australia won the World T20 tournament but women’s cricket won the day.
1. Women’s cricket is not only a mainstream sport...it's a popular one at that
With a crowd of 80,000 at the MCG and millions more around the world watching the two best women’s cricket teams in action, it is fair to say women’s cricket has made its mark.
It is crucial a country like India with such a huge population and a country like Australia with a rich pedigree in sport, both lead the way in driving the women’s game forward.
This was the final the game needed.
Alyssa Healy teed off early and set the wheels in motion. Australia dominated from start to finish, so while the contest was disappointing, the occasion wasn’t.
2. Catches win matches
India dropped two crucial catches early in the Australian innings. Healy was dropped on nine and Beth Mooney on eight. They went on to score 75 and 78 respectively.
The ground fielding was also sloppy as India failed to stem the flow of runs.
Australia’s fielding was exceptional. Not only did they stick their catches but their ground fielding was excellent. They chased every ball hard.
Healy’s excellent catch at the stumps to claim the valuable wicket of Shafali Verma in the third ball of the Indian innings effectively ended the contest.
India will have nightmares about their fielding. They effectively dropped the World Cup.
3. Bat first and go hard early
Winning the toss and batting first was crucial tonight. Australia’s explosive start gave them all the momentum and they never looked back.
Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney took risks but crucially they survived and kept the scoreboard clicking. If it wasn’t fours or sixes it was single and quick twos. The run rate kept on climbing and it drained the Indians who were visibly disturbed by the escalating scoreboard.
This affected the rest of their bowling and built a lot of pressure on their batting. Once Australia posted a 115 run opening stand, India were always up against it and a big score was always on the cards.
The average winning score at the MCG was 136, Australia got 50 more. The policy to go hard early paid off handsomely for Australia who win their fifth World T20.