West Indies failed to replicate the batting effort shown by Australia and folded like a pack of cards. With the win, Australia now have qualified for the final which is set to be played at the Hayley Oval in Christchurch on April 3.
Openers give Australia a solid start
The decision to bowl first by the West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor seemed like it was taken considering the overcast conditions in Wellington. The ball did swing early on and the extra bit of bounce from the surface didn’t allow the Australian openers to get off to a flier. Though Haynes started the day with a drive between cover and backward point off the second delivery of the game, both Chinelle Henry and Shamilia Connell threatened her outside edge a couple of times.
Healy, who came into this game on the back of some indifferent form, got an early breather after she was dropped by Henry of her bowling. Though, it was a tough chance nevertheless. After middling around the run rate below four, Haynes took on Henry in the eighth over, hitting her for two boundaries.
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In the ninth over, Hayley Matthews was introduced into the attack and Anisa Mohammed was also tried from the other end soon after. While Matthews was economical to begin with, giving only four runs of her first three overs, the Aussie openers decided to target Mohammed. Both the players decided to play her by dancing down the track and hitting her for fours. In her first two overs, Mohammed gave away 20 runs. Healy then took on Matthews as well, hitting her two boundaries in the 15th over and the fact that the Aussie openers were now set on the crease was quite evident. At the end of the 15th over, the score was 74 for none.
Haynes stands solid as Healy races to century
After a few quiet overs, the duo took on Deandra Dottin, who came into the attack in the 19th over. One boundary each from the two sort of showed that both the batters were getting in their zone now. The attack on Dottin didn’t just stop there. Once the duo had reached their respective fifties, they took 18 runs off the 23rd over, where Dottin was guilty of bowling three freebies, all of which were sent to the fence.
Healy’s charge continued as she reverse-swept Karishma Ramharack for a boundary, showing her class. Haynes was dropped twice during this phase, both times off Ramharack, one of which was an easy offering. Taylor introduced herself into the attack but Healy was starting to tee off and took two boundaries in the over. During the same over, Mohammed got an injury while running to the boundary and had to be taken out by a stretcher.
In the 28th over, Healy got a gift of a full toss from Ramharack which she hit for a six over covers almost in baseball style. She moved into the nineties with that shot and moved closer to her century with another boundary straight down the ground. A couple of singles in the following over saw her reach her fourth ODI century off just 91 balls. At the 30-over mark, Australia were well poised at 186 for 0.
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Mooney takes Australia past 300 after Healy’s assault
After reaching the landmark, Healy got even more aggressive and the frequency of the boundaries increased. She targeted Taylor for a couple of boundaries and then one of the bowling of Henry. At this point, she was dropped once as well, but didn’t last for long after that. She mistimed one shot and was caught out of the bowling of Connell for 129 off 107 deliveries. With that, the record 216-run partnership between Healy and Haynes came to an end.
Ashleigh Gardner was sent in next to get some quick runs, but the move didn’t work out quite well. She hit a couple of boundaries during her eight-ball stay at the crease, scoring 12 runs. She was dismissed in the same over as Haynes, who got out to Henry for a well-made 85 off 100 balls.
The two quick wickets brought Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney together at the crease. Lanning started off well, hitting a boundary to Connell. The pair made sure they were getting good enough runs at the death overs, courtesy of some fine running between the wicket and good placement of their shots.
The highlight of their stand was the 43rd over of the innings where Mooney hit three consecutive fours to Taylor. Few more singles and doubles saw Australia finish on 305 for 3 with Mooney unbeaten on 43 off 31 balls while Lanning remained not out for her run-a-ball 26. For West Indies, Henry was the pick of the bowlers with her two scalps while Connell got one.
West Indies fail to kickstart their innings
There was a change in the batting order as Rashada Williams was sent to open the innings with Dottin, who started off with a boundary of the first ball. The experienced pro got another four against Darcie Brown, before Williams departed. She tried to flick a delivery on the leg stump but was caught one-handed magnificently by Mooney standing at square-leg.
Matthews joined Dottin at the crease as the pair showed some positive approach towards the run chase. The two added a boundary each to their account in the sixth over, which was bowled by Brown. But Dottin’s breezy innings didn’t last for long. In the tenth over, Dottin hit Tahlia McGrath for a boundary through extra cover. However, right after that, she tried to get another shot out of the book but was caught on long-on boundary for 34 runs.
With that wicket, the spirit of the run chase seemed to die down a bit more. Though Matthews and Taylor were still on the crease but required rate kept increasing with every over, making the target as distant as it could be. Taylor took a lot of time initially to get settled. At one point, she was batting on three off 23 balls. Her stay at the crease didn’t help West Indies' chances in the game. At the end of the 20th over, they were 80 for 2.
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Wickets fall in a cluster as West Indies sink
In the 23rd over, Matthews went down the track to Jess Jonassen but only managed to top edge it and got out for 34. Lanning used the opportunity quite well, using most of her bowling options. From Alana King to Gardner, all the bowlers got a significant spell preparing them perfectly for the final, the road to which was certain with 20 overs still left in the game.
Shemaine Campbelle was the next batter to depart as she made only eight runs during her 23-ball stay at the crease. Chedean Nation walked in next and started her innings with a pull shot for six over deep backward square-leg. In the very next over though, on the back of some wonderful keeping by Healy, Nation was run out for just seven runs. Two balls later, Kycia Knight was bowled by Jonassen.
Taylor was fighting a lonely battle beyond this. She tried to take on the spinners with little or no effect. Taylor was dropped once as well in the deep by Sutherland. Gardner though managed to get Ramharack leg before wicket off the next delivery. With the last ball of the 37th over, Alana King struck for the first time when Taylor went to hit her for a long ball but only managed to sky it and was caught by Jonassen for 48. With that the innings was closed as both Mohammed and Henry were not available to bat.
Brief scores: Australia 305/3 in 45 overs (Alyssa Healy 129, Racheal Haynes 85; Chinelle Henry 2/51) beat West Indies 148 all out in 37 overs (Stafanie Taylor 48; Jess Jonassen 2/14, Megan Schutt 1/8) by 157 runs. POTM: Alyssa Healy