Alyssa Healy received a blow - quite literally - when she was forced off the field after a collision with Megan Schutt during Australia’s final group game, against India, in the Women’s World T20 2018. The concussion that ensued meant Healy couldn’t bat, and Australia ended up losing by 48 runs in chase of 168.
Fortunately for Australia, Healy was back fit for the semifinal against Windies on Thursday (November 22). She was back in prime form, top scoring with 46 off 38 that set up Australia’s comfortable 71-run win. Healy bagged her fourth Player of the Match award in five games as Australia reached the final.
“I was never in doubt of playing this game. I think it (the concussion) knocked some sense into me. I wasn’t frustrated, you only get one brain. It’s about using the down-time when you get it and you have to get yourself right.
“Full credit to our medical staff, they did a fantastic job to get me back 100%," she told the official broadcasters. “It was a wicket where we really had to grind on and we got some great batters in the middle order. The pitch was really tricky, they left some fluffiness on the top and it was difficult. I was sure our bowlers would do the job."
Australia will face England in the title clash on Saturday, but Healy wasn’t thinking too far ahead.
“We’re not thinking too much of the final, we loved coming into this tournament and into this game as underdogs. We need to celebrate this win."
Australia captain Meg Lanning too was overjoyed with her side’s all-round show but stressed that they have the eyes on the bigger picture.
“We were so ready for tonight’s game, we just had to turn up and we knew if we remained calm, we could get the job done," she said. “It’s a very happy group at the moment, but we know we have one more game to go."
Lanning praised her batters for posting a competitive total on a tough pitch, singling out Rachael Haynes for providing the finishing touches with an unbeaten 15-ball 25.
“The conditions were tough for batting. Batting is certainly one of our strengths, we’ve got great depth in batting," she assessed. “Rachael Haynes did a great job to get us to the 140-run mark. I knew if we could pull back the run-rate and a few quick wickets, we could get the job done."
Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor, meanwhile, rued a dismal performance but justified her decision to field first.
“After we saw the pitch today, we thought bowling was the better option. I still thinking bowling first was the right decision," she said. “We let them get away in the last six overs. Even though they got 142, as batsmen we just didn’t bat properly.
“We came into this game with a lot of confidence, but we just didn’t get going with the bat. It was just one of those days. I just want to thank the crowds in St. Lucia and Guyana for supporting us. We’re sorry we couldn’t get past the line."