Australia’s Beth Mooney took a sensational catch as her side crushed the West Indies by 157 runs to reach the Women’s World Cup final.
In a rain-shortened semi-final, Alyssa Healy struck a sublime 129 and put on a 216-run opening partnership with Rachael Haynes, as the Aussies made 305-3 from 45 overs.
In response, the West Indies were bowled out for 148, with Jess Jonassen taking 2-14 from five overs.
The win means Australia have now reached the World Cup final for the ninth time and could win their seventh title on Sunday.
Mooney takes catch of the tournament
There have already been some stunning catches in this year’s competition, not least Deandra Dottin’s one-handed grab against England.
Yet, Mooney’s effort was arguably even better. With the West Indies needing an improbable 306 for victory, their chase got off to the worst possible start as Mooney clung on to an attempted pull-shot from Rashada Williams.
A comprehensive performance by 🇦🇺 to get through to the final of the Cricket World Cup #CWC22 💪— Sarah Storey (@AusDHCIndia) March 30, 2022
Alyssa Healy, player of the match, smashing 129 runs off 107 🏏
And how about that screamer of catch by Beth Mooney!
📺Fox Cricket https://t.co/DIllB759Tb pic.twitter.com/vZypMTSn0T
Understandably, fans lauded Mooney on social media for her fine effort.
One wrote: Beth Mooney! Wow. That is just ridiculous.
Another said: “Beth Mooney is a cheat code to this already hacked Aussie team.”
Meanwhile, a third pointed out that this year’s World Cup has featured a number of incredible catches.
“Cannot remember a cricket tournament with so many screamers,” they said. “Beth Mooney at it again with a one-hander at square leg to dismiss Williams.”
Mooney shows world-class credentials again
Mooney has long been renowned as an outstanding fielder and has taken a number of spectacular catches in the past.
Yet, it’s her batting that is even more impressive. So far at this World Cup, the Aussie has been dismissed just twice in eight innings and averages 134. For comparison, this is more than double that of South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt, who averages 61.85 in the tournament.
Mooney also has a habit of showing up for the big occasions and was named the Player of the Match in the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup final against India.
The 28-year-old is the number one ranked women’s T20 player in the world right now and has scored more than 3000 international runs across all formats.
Can anyone stop Australia?
The short answer is, probably not. Australia have won all eight of their matches in this World Cup and haven’t really looked like being beaten.
Captain Meg Lanning has frequently re-iterated that her side are chasing the “perfect performance” but the match against the West Indies could hardly have gone better.
“It was certainly close,” she said. “I’ve been involved in some very stressful semi-finals in the past.
“We can be very satisfied with today’s performance in a big game up against a very dangerous team.”
In the other semi-final, England face South Africa, but the Aussies will fancy their chances against both sides, having recently thrashed England in the Ashes.
Lanning’s side are therefore heavy favourites for Sunday’s final and it seems as though it will take a near-miraculous performance to topple the pre-tournament favourites.