Alyssa Healy. (Photo by Hannah Peters/ICC via Getty Images)
An inaugural grandstand spanning two centuries carried tournament favorites Australia to a commanding 157-run victory over the West Indies on Wednesday and a place in the women’s World Cup final.
Australia dominated from the start their rain-shortened semi-final in Wellington, which was built between veteran openers Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes around a 216-run stand – the highest of the tournament.
An impressive score of 305 for three from a reduced 45 overs was never threatened by the West Indies, who lost by 148 in the 37th over.
Six-time champions Australia are unbeaten in the 50-over tournament and will face either South Africa or 2017 winners England in the final in Christchurch on Sunday.
The game started nearly two hours late due to foggy rain and Healy in particular struggled with timing in the early stages after Australia were sent to a soggy Basin Reserve pitch.
She sped up as the sun came out, posting 129 balls from 107 to register a fourth one-day international century and falling four runs short of her best finish of her career.
The wicketkeeper batter made excellent use of her feet against the spin-based Caribbean attack, smashing 17 fours and a six.
She didn’t hit a limit until the 12th but said Haynes reminded her to be patient.
“I hope I’ve learned my lesson by now that it doesn’t necessarily have to happen all at once,” Healy said. “I love hitting with vengeance, it has a calming influence.”
Haynes compiled 85 balls from 100 while late runs came on unbeaten shots from captain Meg Lanning (26) and Beth Mooney (43).
It was a disappointing performance from the sixth-placed West Indies, who played loosely in the field, missing a handful of chances and struggling for momentum with the racquet.
Captain Stefanie Taylor was their top scorer at a cautious 48 but she lacked support after top duo Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews both departed for 34.
Their hopes were not bolstered by on-field injuries to bowlers Chinelle Henry and Anisa Mohammed, as neither of them was able to bat, meaning Australia only had to take eight wickets.
Taylor said her players felt left behind from the start as Healy and Haynes established themselves.
“A partnership like that drains the squad and we couldn’t overcome the pressure they were putting on,” she said.
“When you looked up they were 100 without a loss and all the dropped catches didn’t help us.”
Lanning was relaxed that her team wasn’t being pushed to the limit.
“I’ve been involved in some very stressful semi-finals in the past and we expected a very difficult game,” she said.
“The West Indies bowled well up front and put us under pressure but it was a good game plan that we had to build a good base.”
In the second semi-final, defending champions England meet second-placed South Africa in Christchurch on Thursday, a repeat of the 2017 round of 16 thriller that was decided in the final.
Australia 305-3 in 45 overs (A. Healy 129, R. Haynes 85, B. Mooney 43; C. Henry 2-51)
West Indies 148 all out in 37 overs (S. Taylor 48, D. Dottin 34, H. Matthews 34; J. Jonassen 2-14)
Healy reaches the century as Australia’s power in the Women’s World Cup final
Source link Healy reaches the century as Australia’s power in the Women’s World Cup final