After an unbeaten tenure at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, India Women fell 85 runs short of creating history as defending champions Australia put up a scintillating performance to win a record fifth world title.
The likes of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney gave Australia a glaring start, with the former hitting a boundary off the very first ball of the innings. Healy, in particular, showed no mercy as she went on to smash seven fours and five sixes en route to 75 off just 39 balls.
Mooney on the other hand picked up the momentum right after Healy left and scored a 54-ball 78, which included 10 boundaries, put Australia in a firm position. For India, only Deepti Sharma picked two wickets, but that too came at an economy of 9.50 in her four overs.
The story, however, could have been very different if only the likes of Shafali Verma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad had been more instinctive with their fielding. India, as much as they were hurt by a poor bowling effort, were equally punished by a substandard fielding.
With Australia putting 184/4 in 20 overs, India needed a jumpstart. Contrary to what was needed though, they lost as many as four wickets inside 30 runs. The damage further deepened, and the team eventually departed for 99, with Deepti Sharma topping the scoring chart with a 35-ball 33 for India.
Several talking points to discuss, but the fact remains that lack of experience got the better of team India.
And India, well played to get to the final. It was an excellent campaign till today. Look forward to more— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 8, 2020
Crushing defeat for India after holding out promise of a tight contest. Lots of lessons to be learnt for the team foremost being not making excuses e.g. lack of big match experience, crowd pressure etc. This was a poor performance. Accept that and build from there— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 8, 2020
India outclassed by high quality all round performance by Australia. Congratulations to them and to women's cricket. Terrific competition aside from the semi final controversy— mike selvey (@selvecricket) March 8, 2020
Instead of being overawed by the expectation of a home World Cup final at a packed MCG, Australia have thrived on it. Healy calmed the nerves early. India looked intimidated unfortunately. They will learn from it one hopes.— Ian bishop (@irbishi) March 8, 2020
Shafali - 16 years.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 8, 2020
Mandhana - 23 years.
Jemimah - 19 years.
Deepti - 22 years.
Richa - 16 years.
Radha - 19 years.
India Women is the youngest team in the #T20WorldCup and still made into the final. The future is bright.
I feel so bad for the kid. Had such a splendid tournament, just 16, and she might be remembered more for not making a score in the final than what she has done throughout the tournament. Keep your head high Shafali, special tournament! 👏— Aakash Bhatt (@aakashbhatt97) March 8, 2020
Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West