Day 26 Talking Points: Healy the hero as even the brave England batters are outclassed by the GOAT
Australia v England
Hagley Oval, Christchurch - Match 31
Healy the hero with an all-time great innings
This was the fourth time in nine matches at this ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup that Australia have navigated the Powerplay without losing a wicket, as Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes started steadily with 37 runs from the first 10 overs.
Haynes led the way early and went on to break a 24-year record to pass Debbie Hockley for the most runs at a Women’s World Cup tournament on her way to a fine 68.
But Healy soon stole the show with an incredible innings that broke the record for the most runs in a World Cup final (women’s or men’s) with 170 off 138 balls which included 26 boundaries.
Healy also became the first batter to back up a ton in a World Cup semi-final with another in the Final, and even claimed Haynes’ briefly held record for most runs at the tournament to set the new benchmark at 509.
Dropped catches return to haunt England
England started the tournament with some poor performances in the field that included seven dropped chances in their opening match against Australia.
They tidied up their fielding and catching in the second half of CWC22 to help them surge into the Final but were then let down by more grassed chances that ultimately allowed Australia to set a huge target.
Danielle Wyatt dropped Haynes and Natalie Sciver missed what turned out to be a crucial opportunity to dismiss Healy in the space of three balls, and both are now left to wonder what might have been if they held those chances.
Sciver leads brave England batters
England won the toss and elected to bowl first on a flat track but were stunned by the opposition openers that set up Australia for a huge total of 356/5.
It was an imposing score for England to try to chase down but they took a positive approach throughout and Tamsin Beaumont, Heather Knight, Amy Jones and Sophia Dunkley each made good starts at better than a run a ball.
Those four batters were unable to post the big innings needed to help reach the target but Natalie Sciver led the way with a masterful century that was her second against a dominant Australia at CWC22.
At its best, Sciver’s innings of 148 off 121 balls gave her team several moments of hope, and at least ensured they left with their pride intact.
Australia stakes their claim to be the GOAT
Australia were already being talked about having arguably the best team of all time before the CWC22 Final but after another phenomenal performance with bat and ball they have truly staked their claim to such lofty status.
Such is the ruthlessness of this Australia team they have won 38 of 39 ODI matches played since the start of 2018, including nine from nine at this tournament.
Only England in their opening clash of the tournament threatened to take a win off Australia at this tournament and even that looked unlikely throughout the contest.
The dust might just be settling on this edition of the Women's World Cup, but it seems increasingly hard to argue against this Australia team being the greatest of all time.
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