Australia wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy is one of the best in the world, be it men’s cricket or women’s. Apart from being an agile keeper behind the wickets, she is as effective as a batter at the top of the order — similar to countryman Adam Gilchrist.
Healy, wife of cricketer Mitchell Starc, created a record for most dismissals in T20Is — 92, surpassing India’s MS Dhoni in a game against New Zealand. In 114 matches, Healy has 42 catches and 50 stumpings to her name, while Dhoni ended his career on 91 dismissals — 57 catches & 34 stumpings.
What makes Healy’s record even more praiseworthy is that she has maintained a huge gap from the next keeper in terms of number of dismissals. The next women’s keeper in the list is England’s Sarah Taylor with 74 dismissals. Whereas India’s Taniya Bhatia is also rising up the ranks at a decent speed and has 67 dismissals from just 50 matches.
Earlier, brilliant performances from Ashleigh Gardner and Megan Schutt helped Australia defeat New Zealand by 17 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series played at the Allan Border Field on Saturday. With both sides playing international cricket for the first time since the ICC T20 World Cup in March, it was the experienced hand of White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine who elected to bowl first, and claimed 3/8 from her first three overs to leave the Australians reeling at 81/5.
However, Gardner, who came to bat at number five, played a superb knock of 61 to help the hosts post 138/6 in their allotted 20 overs. The 23-year-old batswoman scored 6 fours and 3 sixes during her 41-ball knock. Apart from her, skipper Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes also made useful contributions for 24 and 23 as the hosts set a competitive target for the White Ferns. Chasing the target, the visitors had a decent start as openers Devine (29) and Maddy Green (5) put on 27 runs for the first wicket. However following their dismissals, the White Ferns went off the track and kept losing wickets at regular intervals, thus unable to keep up with the required run-rate.