Healy show helps Australia clinch seventh World Cup title as Sciver wages a lone battle

Akash Ghosh
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Healy show helps Australia clinch seventh World Cup title as Sciver wages a lone battle
Alyssa Healy played an innings for the ages helping Australia to a 71-run win over England in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2022 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday (April 3). Batting first, Australia posted a huge total of 356 for 5 in their 50 overs on the back Healy's record-breaking 170-run knock. Natalie Sciver led a strong fightback with her century, but ran out of partners as Australia marched to their seventh World Cup title.

Haynes, Healy give Australia a steady start

England captain Heather Knight won the toss and elected to bowl first. Anya Shrubsole got ample amount of swing early on along with Katherine Brunt. However, the Australian openers Racheal Haynes and Healy were patient enough for the new ball to stop moving. Haynes was the first one to break free when she got a boundary off the bowling of Anya Shrubsole in the second over. 

While Healy took her time reminiscent of the way she batted in a semi-final while Haynes was quick on her feet to get the ball rolling. The southpaw got two boundaries off Brunt in the sixth over stamping her authority. Healy’s first boundary came only in the ninth over, when she whipped one delivery from pads for a boundary of the bowling off Sciver. In the very next over, she hit a straight drive for a boundary off Shrubsole, showing she was back in her groove. 

At the end of the power play, Australia were 37 for no loss and slowly building the innings. 

Aussie openers go big on their stand yet again

After the steady start, the openers started to get a move-on. As the field spread out, the duo started to be more proactive between the wickets and started to rotate the strike more often. They reached the 50-run mark in the 12th over. Spinner Charlie Dean was introduced and Rachael Haynes took a special liking to her, hitting the youngster for two boundaries in her second over. 

After the 20 overs, Australia were 92 for no loss. In the 21st over, both Haynes and Healy were dropped of the bowling off Kate Cross, much to the disappointment of the England players. Haynes, meanwhile, reached her fifty off 69 balls. Healy used the dropped chance and took on Cross and got two boundaries, which helped her to reach fifty off 62 balls. 

Once she went past her fifty, Healy started to accelerate her innings with a bunch of boundaries. She stepped down the ground twice to Dean and got two boundaries in the 25th over. Haynes’ knock ended soon after she tried to loft a delivery from Sophie Ecclestone and ended up slicing it. She was dismissed for 68 runs from 93 balls, bringing an end to the 160-run opening stand. 

Healy makes England bowlers suffer

Beth Mooney was promoted to no. 3 as she joined her T20 opening partner Healy in the middle. Between the overs of 30 and 40, Australia got 74 runs with Healy showing signs of her aggressive batting. Mooney, on the other hand, was patiently building her innings. With proper rotation of strike, the southpaw managed to be at run-a-ball. 

Healy, on the other hand, reached her century off exactly 100 balls in the 35th over. The wicketkeeper-batter took on Cross first, hitting her for two boundaries over mid-off in the 36th over. She started to get very innovative, as she introduced the paddle scoop against Cross, getting yet another boundary. 

As the innings moved towards the last ten overs, Healy and Mooney moved to another gear. In the 42nd over, Mooney stepped out and hit Ecclestone over extra-cover for a boundary before cutting her for another one off the very next ball. In the next over, Healy hit Sciver for three fours in a row. She started moving a lot on the crease, making room and playing with the line and length of the bowlers. 

Healy took on Ecclestone as well hitting her for three consecutive fours in a row. She further hit a couple of more boundaries off Cross. Healy raced away from 132 to 170 in just 13 balls, which included eight boundaries. Her marathon knock finally came to an end when she was stumped beautifully by Amy Jones of the bowling off Shrubsole. Her knock had 26 boundaries and she ended with 170 off 138 balls. The wicket also ended the 156-run stand between Mooney and Healy. 

Ashleigh Gardner came and went as she was run out for just one in the same over. Skipper Meg Lanning thrashed Brunt for a couple of boundaries. Shrubsole got rid of her in the next over and also got the set batter, Mooney, who departed for 62 runs off 47 balls. Ellyse Perry got two boundaries in the last over staying unbeaten on 17 off ten balls to help take Australia’s total to 356 for 5. For England, Shrubsole was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 46. She was the only bowler who was spared a bit as Australia piled up 120 in the last ten overs. 

Schutt gives Australia the perfect start 

Chasing 357, England got off to the worst possible start. Megan Schutt with her second over of the day struck and got rid of England’s centurion from the last game. Danielle Wyatt received beautiful inswinger which she had no answers to as the delivery went through between her pads and bat. 

Tammy Beaumont hit a few attractive shots against the pace of Darcie Brown, one of them was a pull while another one was a flick on the leg-side. However, she also fell for 27 from 26 balls to a Schutt’s inswinger after she played around it and got out LBW. At 38 for 2, Natalie Sciver joined skipper Heather Knight in the middle. 

Knight took a liking to Darcie Brown hitting a boundary through mid-off region. In her next over, Knight got three boundaries of her with Brown being guilty of offering some freebies. At the end of the power play, England were 59 for 2. 

Sciver show against the Aussies yet again

Sciver started off slowly with only three runs from her first 15 deliveries. She pulled one delivery by Alana King for a six over wide long-on boundary to get herself going. Sciver then took on Tahlia McGrath for two boundaries, one of a pull shot and another by driving a full delivery. In the 15th over, Sciver was given out LBW off King, but on the back of DRS survived a close call. However, later in the same over, Knight failed to read a leg-spinner and played down the wrong line getting out LBW for 26. 

Amy Jones’ stay lasted for a short period but she made sure she kept moving the scoreboard ahead. She played two boundaries during her 18-ball 20, but her attempt to get quick runs saw her being caught on mid-off of the bowling off Jess Jonassen. Sophia Dunkley, then walked out and along with Sciver started to build a partnership. 

The England vice-captain got to her fifty off 53 balls. Sciver looked at absolute ease in the middle, attacking the Aussie bowlers from time to time. But what was more effective was her running between the wickets. Dunkley also batted in a similar style but King bowled a superb leg-spinner which went through her legs and crashed onto the stumps as she walked back for 23. 

Brunt also gave her wicket to King when she tried to walk out of the crease and was stumped. At the 30-over mark, England was at 193 for 6. Ecclestone was the next to walk back as she was caught plump in front of the bowling McGrath. In the very next over, Jonassen got Cross caught and bowled as Sciver’s lone battle at the other end continued. 

Sciver reached her century off 90 deliveries and continued her fight towards to the total. After reaching her century, she decided to go up a gear. Dean, who was partnering her at the other end, was batting quite smartly rotating the strike well allowing for Sciver to take on the charge. Both the players used sweeps, both conventional and reverse to good effect.

Dean was eventually out to a reverse sweep for 21 runs. Sciver continued her knock but was stranded at the other end when no. 11 Shrubsole tried to take on Jonassen and ended up being caught for one. Sciver remained unbeaten on 148 runs. King and Jonassen were the pick of the bowlers for Australia with three wickets each to their name.  

Brief scores: Australia 356 for 5 in 50 overs (Alyssa Healy 170, Rachael Haynes 68; Anya Shrubsole 3/46) beat England 285 all-out in 43.4 overs (Natalie Sciver 148*; Jess Jonassen 3/58, Alana King 3/64) POTM: Alyssa Healy