Women's T20 World Cup Final: Australia bags fifth title, beats India by 85 runs

The highlights from the final of Women's T20 World Cup, which Australia won by 85 runs at the MCG.

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India Eves will have a maiden title on mind when they lock horns with Australia at the MCG on Sunday.

India Eves will have a maiden title on mind when they lock horns with Australia at the MCG on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Highlights of the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup final between India and Australia.

This was Santadeep Dey bringing you all the action as it unfurled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).


HIGHLIGHTS
 

PRESENTATION CEREMONY

 

PICTURE PERFECT!
 

100

Team Australia wins the World T20 title for the fifth time.   -  Getty Images

 

The Australians step up to the podium now!

Meg Lanning: "I am proud of this group. We have had ups and downs. To put this kind of performance on the biggest day is outstanding! There were a lot of expectations from us. We were hoping to be there. To get here was a significant achievement. We had to change our tactics quickly and had to execute on the big stage. I'd like to thank all the support staff, to family and friends. And, also to the fans, I'm happy to play in front of you!"

The Indian players collect their runners-up medal.

Harmanpreet Kaur: "The way we played in the league games was outstanding. Today, it was unfortunate that we dropped those catches. I still have a lot of faith in my team. The upcoming one-and-a-half years is very important. We need to focus, especially in fielding. But I trust this team. It's part of the game, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You have to keep learning.

"I think we're on the right path. Every year we are improving. We just need to think of how we play with focus in the main games. Sometimes we don't manage that. This year we are hoping for some more games in the Women's Challenger, that tournament is very important for us because it is high quality. From there we already got two good players, and hopefully in the upcoming tournaments we can get more."

Beth Mooney has been adjuged the 'Player of the Tournament'.

"A bit lost for words. It's been an unbelievable tournament. The crowds have been great throughout the tournament. We had some plans that we didn't execute in that first game. I'm just very fortunate and grateful to be given the opportunities I've been given by Cricket Australia."

Alyssa Healy has been adjudged the 'Player of the Match'. No surprises there, isn't it?

"You can't wipe out the smile out of my face. It's the nature of how I play. Just needed a little bit of luck. Just went out there and enjoyed my time. Mooney is sensational. She got off strike and let me do my thing. We are having a lot of fun together."

WHAT THEY SAID
 

Ashleigh Gardner: It's an honour to play for my country and represent my culture. I never thought I'd play in front of 86000 people. It was incredible to see the Mexican wave.

Jess Jonassen: Feels absolutely incredible at the moment. We had a massive 12 months leading to this and we didn't have the smoothest of the tournaments, but we had our best game today!

Megan Schutt : Absolutely overwhelmed! The atmosphere couldn't have been any better. I was excited and ready to go. They came out with so much confidence, the openers. We all are happy to be here and be a part of this event. We just want to enjoy every moment.

Rachael Haynes: It's incredible! To come out today and put out that sort of a performance was so special. The support was great and it was great to be a part of this experience.

 

COMMENTARY

  • IND 99 after 19.1 overs: With Poonam Yadav's dismissal, Australia clinches a mammoth 85-run win over the India Eves. And along with that, the side has also bagged its fifth World T20 title in front of a mighty MCG crowd. Magical moment for the host, this!
     
  • IND 99/9 after 19 overs: Another wicket for Jonassen as India is falling like nine pins, Radha being the last batswoman to go. Mooney is the one again at mid-on. What a day this has been for her - with the bat, in the field... BRILLIANT!
     
  • IND 97/8 after 18 overs: WICKET! Shikha tries to go over extra cover. She does middle it, but there is low power on that shot. Mooney cannot go wrong as she takes yet another stunning catch.

    Richa departs too, as Australia inches closer to its fifth title at home. The MCG is getting noisier by the minute. She edges it and the ball balloons to Carey, who has enough time to get under it.
     
  • IND 92/6 after 17 overs: OUT! Deepti picks the fielder at cow corner. Mooney lunges forward to take an excellent catch. India needs 93 off 18 balls now.
     
  • IND 88/5 after 16 overs: Over timeline: 2,1,1,1,1,1. It is all but over. Some batting practice for the visitor, maybe?
     
  • IND 81/5 after 15 overs: Doesn't look like India is batting to try and reach the target here. The scoreboard says, '134 runs required off 30 balls'.
     
  • IND 76/5 after 14 overs: A thick outside edge off the bat of Deepti sees the ball speed away to the third man boundary. Nine from the over.

READ: Women’s cricket gets its due
 

  • IND 67/5 after 13 overs: Richa is off the mark with a boundary! The 16-year-old wouldn't have expected that she will be batting in front of the MCG ground today.
     
  • IND 58/5 after 12 overs: A cutter from Kimmince does the job! Veda looks to go over the head of Jonassen stationed at mid-off, but no... Australia has been exceptional in the field. The fielder back-tracks to take an exceptional catch after giving herself the required elevation.
     
  • IND 56/4 after 11 overs: Ghosh is all padded up in the dugout. Neither Veda nor Deepti are looking to fire. They need to go after the bowlers NOW, with the required rate climbing up all the more steadily.
     
  • IND 51/4 after 10 overs: Another decent over from Molineux. Just five off it. Richa Ghosh has been named the concussion substitute for Taniya Bhatia.
     
  • IND 46/4 after nine overs: A boundary and some relief comes after three overs. Veda opens the face of the bat on this occasion and makes good use of her wrist, with the third man up inside the circle.
     
  • IND 39/4 after eight overs: Carey concedes five runs from the over. With the required run-rate climbing beyond 12 runs per over, Australia wouldn't mind!
     
  • IND 34/4 after seven overs: Molineux tries to bowl it fuller and flatter with just one delivery, a bit flighted. Just two runs come from the over.
     
  • IND 32/4 after six overs: A much-needed boundary for India off the third delivery, with Harmanpreet lifting it over the offside region.

    And in the very next ball, India sinks further. Harmanpreet edges it and Gardner at deep midwicket has an easy job at hand.
     
  • IND 26/3 after five overs: Delissa Kimmince rolling her fingers along the seam of the ball and effectively altering the pace, bounce and length. She mixes it up well to give just three runs away in this over.
     
  • IND 23/3 after four overs: Molineux introduced into the attack. And well... India is crumbling! This is turning out to be a catching practice for the host. Smriti hits it straight to Carey at midoff. This is exactly what Jemimah had done, a few deliveries earlier.

    The tests are still on for Bhatiya. Deepti walks in.
     
  • IND 18/2 after three overs: FOUR! Up and over extra cover, goes Smriti Mandhana. She, batting alongside Harmanpreet, will have to take charge now, with the top-order being thrown in disarray by the host. Two balls later, we see another boundary. The job has just started.
     
  • IND 8/2 after two overs: Jess Jonassen will be bowling from the other end. The India batswomen need some time to settle down and get acclimatised to the conditions. They cannot afford to go for some rash shot and commit an error, hereon.

    Bad news, Taniya Bhatiya gets hit on the helmet! The concussion tests are on, as have been made compulsory by the ICC now, but she will have to walk out of the field of play for further examination. Jemimah walks out.

    And gone! Jemimah out for a duck. Doesn't give herself time and looks to accelerate. Straight down to the mid-off fielder Nicola Carey.
     
  • IND 3/1 after one over: The Australian players are out in the middle and so are the India openers, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana. Megan Schutt to bowl with the new ball.

    Shafali, 16, will take strike. What were you doing when you were of the same age? Verma here, ranked World No 1 in T20I, will have the pressure of this being the biggest stage, playing on her mind.

    Oh no! And the scoreboard pressure does get the better of her. Shafali's out, caught behind. She tries to slice one late, close to her body, and a soft edge will have her going. This is a nervous start from India.

2nd Innings

  • AUS 184/4 after 20 overs: Radha Yadav to bowl the last over. There have been 19 fours and five sixes, thus far, today. India would love to keep it that way.

    But no, we will have another Jemimah effort in the deep and worse, another boundary. However, India did quite get back into the game with some quick, late wickets. Remember, the side had chased down 177 in the tri-series. So the target, sure is difficult, but not impossible to get to!
     
  • AUS 177/4 after 19 overs: Poonam Yadav, who? Mooney goes square of the wicket to get to the fence, now. You just cannot dominate her.

    WICKET! Rachael Haynes does an Ajinkya Rahane. Remember Rahane's dismissal in Christchurch, a few days ago? This is just the laterally-inverted replay. Steps across the stumps and drags the delivery to her own woodwork.
     
  • AUS 167/3 after 18 overs: What was that? Mooney goes for a shot which looked like an awkward scoop. She steps across, Radha picks up her movement early to adjust the line. Mooney, however, outsmarts the bowler to get the runs anyway. Shot of the day?
     
  • AUS 157/3 after 17 overs: Lanning falls for 16, going for the pull and finding the square leg fielder! The celebration by the bowler, Deepti, however, is close to none. But this must be the time for Harmanpreet to think clearly and strategise given there is a new batswoman at the crease.

    And well! Another... Has the dam broken? Ash Gardner, STUMPED! Good work by Taniya Bhatiya behind the stumps.
     
  • AUS 154/1 after 16 overs: Two boundaries from Mooney and subsequent singles makes it twelve from the over. This is turning out to be a nightmarish match for the Indian team!
     
  • AUS 142/1 after 15 overs: Poonam Yadav's overs are presenting a different scenario. Minus the fielding mishaps, the batsmen are restricting themselves to the singles and doubles. Additionally, Mooney gets to her ninth T20I half-century too, with a single. It has been a fine innings from the Australian opener.
     
  • AUS 135/1 after 14 overs: Lanning and Mooney hammer a boundary each in the over. If all goes their way (as it has, thus far), the Aussies are easily headed to a 200-plus score.
     
  • AUS 123/1 after 13 overs: Skipper Lanning has walked out and boy, oh boy, there will be more runs as a sweep shot sees the ball race away to the boundary. A superb diving effort from Jemimah in the deep does little to stop the ball. Six runs from the over.
     
  • AUS 117/1 after 12 overs: Radha does the job! Healy goes but the impact she has had is huge. India will still have a lot to do. She picks the long on fielder Veda Krishnamurthy and she wouldn't miss this. Finally, some relief for the India camp.
     
  • AUS 102/0 after 11 overs: IT IS A RUN FEST AND RECORDS GALORE HERE! And this is just the second time that a hundred-run partnership has come up in a WC final. 4,1,6,6,6,0, says the over timeline [the Indian in me is screaming out loud]. Also, Healy, now on 75, has already notched up the highest individual score in a WC final, as well.
     
  • AUS 91/0 after 10 overs: Healy gets to her fifty in style. Puts her feet to good use, going long and straight. It lands just inside the rope but that will do. FIFTY for her. A collective roar echoes across the MCG, and trust me, she is soaking all of that energy up from Ball 1!
     
  • AUS 79/0 after nine overs: Mooney now... and look who she has gone after: it's Poonam Yadav! She isn't scared, is she? Swings her bat and the ball rolls down to the long off boundary. Yadav concedes nine.
     
  • AUS 70/0 after eight overs: Healy skies the second ball from Rajeshwari, but it lands in no man's land. Never mind the last update, there are greater things happening out here. Two back-to-back sixes and they are huge and right off the middle of the bat! You can just push the ropes back again, she wouldn't mind...
     
  • AUS 54/0 after seven overs: Poonam Yadav engaged in a lengthy field-setting session with the skip; mind you, Yadav is the highest wicket-taker in this tournament, thus far. Will this be the turning point India is searching for?

    Meanwhile, the fifty comes up for the host in the first ball of the over with a single. Five runs come from the over, as the Aussies do not look to take any additional risks.
     
  • AUS 49/0 after six overs: Ooh... that turned! So there is a hint of movement, alright. Healy has been taken by surprise by Rajeshwari. The Australian gloveswoman might be wondering how that ball missed the top of the off stump. The Aussies will be a bit cautious now. And quite right... just two runs come from this over.
     
  • AUS 47/0 after five overs: India needs to up its game in the fielding department. And vice-captain Smriti Mandhana sets an example, diving to her right to stop the ball from rolling over to the boundary this time. But the last two balls of the over have been slammed for two boundaries.
     
  • AUS 37/0 after four overs: Mooney has lifted the second ball of the over, over the covers. FOUR! Oh no! Rajeshwari spills another chance. Mooney hits the ball straight back at the bowler and she lets the opportunity slip.
     
  • AUS 32/0 after three overs: Harmanpreet has a long chat with Deepti before she returns to bowl her second. And there we have a much better line. Slower and a lot straighter... Mooney, a left-hander, will be much easier to bowl to for Deepti. The Aussie takes a single to take some time to settle down, passing the strike to Healy. A boundary down leg to end the over.
     
  • AUS 23/0 after two overs: Healy uses her front foot to club it away over the top of the bowler Shikha Pandey's head in the second ball of the over. The penultimate ball of the over, pitched short and wide of off, has been worked away as well. Healy is dealing in boundaries here.
     
  • AUS 14/0 after one over: Deepti Sharma to open the bowling for India. Alyssa Healy is on strike. Beth Mooney is at the non-striker's end.

    And straightaway, Healy delivers a message to the Indian fans out there at the MCG, hammering Deepti for a four wide of long on! Oh no, we have another boundary... Past short third man! And well, we have a dropped catch too. This keeps getting worse. Healy heaves a sigh of relief as Shafali Verma drops a sitter a cover. FOUR, AGAIN! The last ball races away to the ropes too.
     

1st Innings
 

PLAYING XI

India Women: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Taniya Bhatia (w), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad

Australia Women: Alyssa Healy (w), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Georgia Wareham, Delissa Kimmince, Megan Schutt

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Harmanpreet Kaur: My mom's sitting somewhere in the stands. It's a pressure game and we also wanted to bat first. We are quite confident while chasing. Hopefully the bowlers restrict them. We did some indoor practice. We want to treat this like any other game and give it our best shot.

Meg Lanning: We are going to have a bat, looks a good wicket. Crowd's amazing, looking forward to it. Every game has been close, it's been cut-throat, but we need to be at our best today. India are a great side. Hopefully it's a great game.
 

TOSS UPDATE: Meg Lanning wins toss, asks India to field.

 

 


Right then! Here we are at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, ready for the final game as the India Eves aim to bask in glory on International Women's Day.

MATCH PREVIEW

The Indian women’s team will have to overcome big match pressure as it aims to exorcise the ghosts of the past in the T20 World Cup final against habitual winner Australia in front of a record crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

India goes into the final unbeaten after topping the group stage where it had beaten the four-time champion Australia in the tournament opener.

After the semifinal against England was washed out, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad advanced to its maiden summit clash, having finished first in Group A.

The refreshing firepower of 16-year-old Shafali Verma at the top and consistency of India’s spin-heavy bowling attack has contributed massively to the team’s success so far in the competition.

READ: Women’s T20 World Cup Final Australia vs India: all you need to know

However, much more is needed from star batters Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet if India is to win the cup.

The brittle middle-order too needs to deliver. And besides doing the right things on the field, India will also have to win the battle of nerves in the all-important game.

Australia, which had beaten India in the preceding tri-series final, finds itself in familiar territory having made its sixth successive final in seven editions.

Australia knows how to win the big moments in high-pressure games, while India has been found wanting on that front. The visitor had capitulated to England in the 2017 ODI World Cup final and 2018 World T20 semifinal.

It may be a tad unfair on the teenager but the team will expect Shafali to provide another flying start and hope this time the experienced Mandhana too fires. There can’t be a bigger stage for Harmanpreet to be back amongst the runs and lead the team from the front.

If it was not for Shafali, India would have struggled to post competitive totals with the middle and lower-order doing precious little. The team did not cross the 150-run mark in the group stage but still managed to get over the line, thanks to a disciplined bowling effort.

Leggie Poonam Yadav has made a sensational comeback from a finger injury and is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with nine wickets alongside Australia pacer Megan Schutt.

Pacer Shikhar Pandey too has been impressive, while left-arm spin duo of Radha Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad has kept things tight.

It will be interesting to see how Australians play Poonam on Sunday as the leggie was all over them in the tournament opener.

More than 75,000 tickets have already been sold for the final and the figure could go as high as 90,000, unprecedented in women’s cricket.

Australia, led by Meg Lanning, is backing itself to win in front of the home fans though a sizable number of Indian fans are expected at the iconic MCG.

Lead men’s team pacer Mitchell Starc will also be in attendance, rooting for the home team and wife Alyssa Healy after getting clearance to leave South Africa in the middle of the tour.

Australia’s campaign has been hit by injuries to pacer Tayla Vlaeminck at the start and star all-rounder Elysse Perry was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament before the semifinal against South Africa.

Despite the twin setbacks, Australia has stormed into yet another title clash.

Head-to-head

The overall head-to-head record favours Australia, with 13 wins in 19 games. However, India has won its last two World Cup games vs the host, beating it most recently in the opener of this edition of the tournament. Australia has been in the final six times and has a lot more crunch-match experience than India.

RELATED| Women's T20 WC Final: Schutt wary of Shafali, Mandhana threat

Record attendance?

Incidentally, the Australian men’s team has not won the T20 World Cup yet, with just one final appearance in six editions. Cricket Australia is also trying to draw a record audience to the MCG in a bid to popularise the sport and give women’s sport the spotlight it has come to deserve, especially since the final coincides with Women’s Day. The hashtag #FillTheMCG seeks to do just that. The current attendance record is 90,185, which was set at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in the USA.

What happens if there is a rain delay?

Unlike the semifinal, the final of the World Cup has provisions for a reserve day should rain not permit play at all. According to this, if the match does not finish on March 8, teams will come back the next day to play it out.

What happens if the scores are tied?

Memories of the now-defunct boundary countback rule are still fresh but this tournament has new provisions should the scores end up tied.

If a match is tied, a Super Over will be played. If this also ends in a tie, Super Overs will be played until there is a winner. Standard rules apply.

RELATED| Veda Krishnamurthy: Destiny in India’s favour at World T20

Remember, if a batter is dismissed in one Super Over, she is not permitted to return in the subsequent Super Over and bowlers cannot bowl two Super Overs in a row either. If extraordinary circumstances do not allow the completion of the Super Over after a tie in the final, joint winners will be declared.

How much does the winner get in prize money?

The prize money has received a 5x increase from 2018 to this year’s edition. The winner will now receive $1 million while the runner-up will take $500,000.

In an ICC meeting in October 2019, it was decided that the prize pot would see a 320 per cent increase. This means all 10 participating teams will earn more, in an effort to encourage the growth of the game in countries irrespective of ranking or result.

 

Soon after, Cricket Australia also announced that it would match the prize money to ensure parity with the prize money that male players get should the national side win the World Cup.

When is the game?

India and Australia will clash for the title in Melbourne on March 8, which is also observed as International Women’s Day. The game will begin at 12.30 pm IST.

Are there any pre-match shows planned?

Yes, Australia had arrangements to have a Perry on and off the field to draw crowds for the tournament. Katy Perry will perform during the World Cup final, starting things off with a two-song bit with a longer concert to continue after the final. The Roar singer had taken the 2015 Super Bowl by storm with her performance and so this is right up her alley.

SQUADS

India Women: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh.

Australia Women: Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Erin Burns, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland.

 

 

WHERE TO WATCH?

The 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup games will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. Hotstar will be providing the online live streaming.