The T20 World Cup was filled with unforgettable moments, but here are the five that stand out most for us at GiveMeSportWomen.
Poonam spinning India to victory in the opening game
India shocked hosts Australia in the first game of the T20 World Cup, all thanks to a magnificent performance from leggy Poonam Yadav, who finished with figures of 4-19 from her allotted overs.
Yadav’s combination of leg-breaks and deceptive googly’s ensured India managed to defend their sub-par total of 132. Having taken the prize wicket of Healy earlier in the piece, Yadav proceeded to remove Haynes and Perry in successive deliveries, setting up the possibility of a momentous World Cup hat trick. Had Taniya Bhatia held onto a tough chance standing up to the stumps, Jonassen would have fallen and history made – it wasn’t to be. The individual brilliance of Yadav could not be stemmed for much longer however, as Jonassen departed soon after. Flight and guile proved a potent concoction, sufficient to dismiss Australia for a meagre 115 and wrap up a sublime victory for Harmanpreet Kaur’s side.
Fine, this one isn’t a moment per se, but Thailand’s tournament cannot go unmentioned. Led by Sornnarin Tippoch, Thailand were the feel-good story of the competition and proved that the game’s global appeal is greater than previously acknowledged. Had it not been for the weather’s cruel intervention, Thailand may have secured a shock victory in their final group game, after posting a healthy 150-3 from their 20 overs against a Pakistan side that had never scored more than 145 batting second. What’s more, during the first innings Nattakan Chantam made history becoming the first Thai batter to reach a half century in a major tournament. Oh, and did we mention their dance moves?
England rained out of the tournament
From the ultra-positive to the straight up gutting. England managed to get knocked out of the World Cup by relentless precipitation at the semi-final stage. Having finished second in their group behind South Africa and in the absence of a reserve day, Heather Knight’s side were eliminated without a delivery being recorded. India went through to the final. The less said about this sorry incident the better.
Aussies squeak past NZ to get out of the group
After both Australia and New Zealand lost to India in Group A, the match between the Southern Stars and the White Fern’s was a de facto quarter-final. Sophie Devine won the toss and stuck Australia in on a pitch that many were expecting to get low and slow. Beth Mooney, opening the batting for Australia, struck an effortless 60 before Perry and Haynes ensured New Zealand would require over 150 for a place in the semis.
New Zealand got off to a decent start and found themselves in a strong position after the powerplay, only one wicket down and one run ahead of where Australia were at the same time in their innings. However, everything changed when the young spinner Georgia Wareham came on. First dismissing Bates who was well set, before returning later in the innings to arrest control of the game and take the crucial wicket of Devine. In the end Wareham finished with figures of 3-17 to earn Player of the Match and ensure the hosts qualified for the semi-finals by four runs.
Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney’s opening stand in the final
A record crowd of 86’000 filled the MCG for Sunday’s final between Australia and India. India won the group game between these two in Sydney and certainly would have been confident of a repeat performance in Melbourne, especially in light of the absence of Ellyse Perry. However, if India were to emerge victorious, the opening salvos would be crucial. Harmanpreet Kaur’s team gave both openers a life and boy did they rue those errors. Healy played some of the shots of the tournament, blasting sixes down the ground and over extra cover. Mooney played a measured knock but still finished with a strike rate of 144, scoring 78 from 54 to get the hosts to an imperious score of 184. Through their combination of power-hitting and field manipulation India looked like a beaten prior to the end of the Aussie innings. At 114-0, with just over the half the overs still to bat, the openers had not only done their jobs, they’d all but won the final.
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