Indian eve's World Cup dream turns sour as Australia win 5th title
Melbourne: All-round Australia put on display a clinical performance to beat India by 85 runs and win their fifth T20 World Cup title in front of a packed home crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the final on Sunday.
After electing to bat first, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy slammed aggressive half-centuries as the reigning champions posted 184/4 in 20 overs.
Chasing a stiff 185 for victory, India were never in the chase and were skittled out for just 99 in 19.1 overs.
Deepti Sharma (33) top-scored for the visitors who cut a sorry figure as the likes of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (4), Smriti Mandhana (11), teenage sensation Shafali Verma (2) and Jemimah Rodrigues (0) failed miserably.
Sixteen-year-old batter Richa Ghosh was named as a concussion substitute for Taniya Bhatia who got hit in the helmet while batting.
Wicketkeeper Bhatia was hit flush on the grill as she tried to sweep Jess Jonassen and had to retire hurt in the 2nd over itself. Later, she was not able to continue with teenager Richa replacing her.
It summed up India's plight as they could never be at ease with the extra bounce on the MCG wicket which was otherwise good for batting as shown by Mooney and Healy.
Besides Deepti, Veda Krishnamurthy (19) and Richa (18) scored some runs but it was never enough as the Aussies stifled their rivals from the word go and had a grip of the game all throughout.
For the Aussies, Megan Schutt (4/18) and Jess Jonassen (3/20) starred with the ball.
Earlier, opener Mooney remained not out on 78 from 54 deliveries (10x4) as wicketkeeper-batsman Healy smashed a whirlwind 39-ball 75 (7x4, 5x6) as the hosts put on a show in front of a packed crowd. Both batters were given early reprieves with Shafali dropping Mooney in the first over and Gayakwad unable to dismiss Healy in the fourth off her own bowling.
Healy and Mooney shared a 115-run opening wicket stand which threatened to take the game away from India but allrounder Deepti Sharma snared two wickets in the 17th over of star Aussie skipper Meg Lanning (16) and Ashleigh Gardner (2) to pull things back for the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian side.
But Mooney was in no mood to relent as she continued to find the fence regularly and take Australia to the competition's highest score.
Healy started off with the fireworks with husband and Australia pacer Mitchell Starc, who cut short his South Africa tour with the team to watch the final, in the stands. Shikha Pandey had a bad day in office as she was taken for a whopping 52 runs in four overs.
Radha Yadav removed Healy who was caught by Veda Krishnamurthy at long on. But half the damage was already done by then. Deepti removed Lanning and Gardner in the same over to give India some hope but Mooney was in the form of her life as she played Poonam Yadav exceptionally well and also forced her to come round the wicket in her final over.
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