Contrasting but equally effective half-centuries from Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney set up an 85-run win for Australia over India in front of a packed MCG stadium at the one-sided ICC Women's T20 World Cup final, giving the hosts their fifth title victory.
Opting to bat first, Australia put up 184 for 4 with Healy blasting her way to 75 off 39 while Mooney remained unbeaten on 78 off 54. India came nowhere close and were bowled out for 99 in 19.1 overs. Jess Jonassen got 3 for 19 while Megan Schutt got 4 for 18.
While Australia were aggressive throughout, India were listless, bowling poorly and also dropping crucial catches.
The tone was set in the very first ball of the game when Deepti Sharma's full toss was smashed by Healy wide of long on for a boundary. Three balls later, India had a massive opportunity but couldn't grab it; Shafali Verma dropped Healy at cover when the batter was on 9.
Soon after, Mooney too received a life when Rajeshwari Gayakwad dropped a return chance when the batter was on 8.
From there on, there was no looking back as Healy toyed around with the Indian bowling. Deepti conceded 23 in her first two overs while Shikha Pandey gave 19 in her two as Australia put up 49 in the Power Play.
India turned to Poonam Yadav immediately after the Power Play but that didn't bring a wicket as Healy continued the onslaught. She hit Gayakwad for two consecutive sixes in the eighth over and bettered it by smashing Pandey for three consecutive sixes in the 11th over, as Australia raced to 114 for no loss in 11 overs.
India finally got the breakthrough when Healy holed out to long on off Radha Yadav's bowling in the 12th over, after having smashed five sixes, a few of them into the crowd. However, India continued to suffer as Mooney took over. She went past her half-century in 41 balls before pressing on the accelerator, keeping Australia going even as India fought back with a few wickets at the death overs.
For India to challenge the big target, they needed a quick start from Shafali. However, that wasn't to be as she fell caught behind trying to run Megan Schutt to third man in the third ball.
Taniya Bhatia was forced to retire hurt next over with concussion when she was hit on the head missing an attempted sweep shot, while Jemimah Rodrigues fell for duck hitting left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen to mid on.
Much depended on the experienced pair of Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, both experienced batters not in the best of forms in the tournament. That too wasn't to be, as Smriti hit Sophie Molineux to mid off to fall for 11 while Harmanpreet slogged Jonassen to deep mid wicket for 4.
At 30 for 4 in the sixth over, the challenge was over and only formalities were left. Deepti Sharma (33), Veda Krishnamurthy (19) and Richa Ghosh (18), who came in as a concussion substitute for Bhatia, helped India get close to 100.