An upbeat Australian team thrashed Windies by 71 runs to enter the final of the Women’s World T20 on Thursday (November 22) at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Alyssa Healy was in prime form once again and top scored with 46 as Australia posted 142 for 5 in 20 overs. Spirited bowling efforts by Ellyse Perry (2/2), Delissa Kimmince (2/17) and Ashleigh Gardner (2/15) then ensured that the Meg-Lanning side made it to the summit clash of the competition for a record fifth time.
Healy had not batted in Australia’s last group match, against India, after suffering an injury while fielding, but returned to action on the big day to bag her fourth Player of the Match award in five matches.
After being set a target of 143, Windies made a complete mess of the chase and gave away easy wickets to the Aussies. It all started with the wicket of Hayley Matthews, who was run out by Healy for 5 in the second over of the innings.
Perry then demolished Windies’ top order and accounted for Deandra Dottin (6) and Shemaine Campbelle (7) in a space of two overs. That put Australia in complete control and from there on, every Aussie bowler enjoyed success to bundle Windies out for a paltry 71.
In a disappointing batting display, none of the Windies batters looked comfortable at the crease with skipper Stafanie Taylor top-scoring with 16. In fact apart from her no other player could reach double digits.
After Taylor fell to a Sophie Molineux delivery, it looked all but over for the defending champions. The last six wickets could only add 28 runs and only five fours were struck in the entire innings.
Earlier in the day, Australia, largely due to the efforts of Healy (46) and skipper Meg Lanning (31), posted a fighting total on a difficult Antigua pitch. After being dealt with an early blow — opener Beth Mooney was dismissed for six by Shakera Selman — the duo struck together a partnership of 51 and took their team forward to 71/1.
But after this solid start, Aussies failed to keep the momentum going and lost wickets at regular intervals. Healy, who has been in tremendous form this tournament with two fifties in the group stage, fell to Afy Fletcher wile trying to up the scoring rate.
Windies bowlers then dried up the runs for the opposition. Such was the situation that Lanning, who boasts a career strike rate of 117, could manage 31 from 39 balls that included two fours. Her painful stay at the crease was finally ended by all-rounder Deandra Dottin, who hit the timber in the 17th over of the innings.
Towards the end of the innings, Rachael Haynes came up with fireworks and propelled the team past 140. The hard-hitting batter raced to 25 from just 15 balls and struck four boundaries during the course of her innings.
Windies skipper Taylor (1/20) was the pick of the bowlers and was ably supported by Selman, Matthews and Fletcher, who all returned with one wicket each.