Australia 184/4 def. India 99 (19.1/20 overs)
When Alyssa Healy sits down with uncle Ian and husband Mitchell Starc at the next family dinner, who has bragging rights over their cricket achievements?
“100 per cent me, 100 per cent,” Alyssa Healy said after Australia won their fifth Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday night. It’s hard to argue.
Alyssa Healy set up Australia’s win in the Twenty20 World Cup final by smashing 75 off 39 balls.Credit:AAP
“I’ve been a part of a lot of successful World Cup campaigns now, to do it on home soil was always going to be incredibly difficult to do,” Healy said. “Mitch and I are one-all on that stage.”
Healy came into the World Cup in a run of outs but in the most important game of the tournament no player had as great an impact on the result than the explosive opener.
Her whirlwind 75 off 39 balls not only settled the nerves of her teammates it got under the skin of her opponents, who, from all accounts, gave her some spray on her way off the field.
By then, Australia had well over 100 on the board and the engraver was sharpening their blade.
On the biggest day of their careers, no player was calmer than Healy. During the national anthem, when the convention is for a player to wear their game face, she carried a smile from ear to ear.
“That was unbelievable, thank you everyone,” Healy said at the presentation before a crowd of 86,174 fans.
“You cannot wipe the smile off my face one bit. Even if we lost the game I still would have been smiling. I never thought we would get an opportunity like this in my whole career. I thought maybe in 20 years’ time.”
After staring elimination in the face in Perth two weeks ago, Australia’s players vowed to live and die by the sword. Healy embodied the team’s mantra of playing “fearless” cricket. By the end of the first over, she had three boundaries on the board. Her opposing number, teenager Shafali Verma, had her head down after dropping her on nine.
The mythical line legend has Steve Waugh saying to Herschelle Gibbs of “you just dropped the World Cup” is applicable.
Teammate Beth Mooney was left in awe after the third of her consecutive sixes to seamer Shikha Pandey – an inside out smash over cover.
“That’s an outrageous shot, you’re kidding me, aren’t you?” Mooney, who top-scored with 78 off 54 balls and was later crowned player of the World Cup, said.
“I enjoyed every second. It’s pretty amazing to watch one of your teammates do that in a World Cup final on the biggest stage in front of nearly 90,000 people in a World Cup final. I’m just proud I was able to stand at the other end and watch her do her thing.”
If Healy was not sure she had India rattled with her power hitting, she certainly was by the time she left the field to a standing ovation.
“I probably can’t share what was said to me on the way off the field,” Healy said.
“I literally said to the group “we’re right under their skin here”. The way they reacted when I went out, the way they gave me a gob full on the way off, just meant we were right under their skin.”
Before the tournament, Healy urged the team to channel the traits of the Black Panther, the lead character in the superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The Black Panther’s suit absorbs energy and redistributes it to his enemies.
“We were all Black Panthers out there,” Healy said. None more so than her.
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