Twenty two games across three weeks between the top ten teams in the world have led to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final at the MCG, which is expecting an attendance of over 60,000. The Semi Finals were full of drama as India advanced to the final via a washout, whilst Australia managed to defeat South Africa by eight runs in a rain affected thriller. Australia came into the tournament as red hot favourites but were upset by India on the opening night of the tournament. We have a full preview and tips here.
The tournament hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Aussies. Australia lost fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminick to a foot injury on the eve of the tournament and a hamstring injury in the final group match ended Ellyse Perry’s tournament early. Australia has been playing catch up for the majority of the tournament, but come into the final with some serious momentum. Captain Meg Lanning led the way with 49* and two catches in a dramatic semi final win, where the rain managed to hold off for long enough for Australia to secure a victory. Beth Mooney (ranked 3rd for most runs) and Alyssa Healy (ranked 4th) have been outstanding with the bat, whilst Megan Schutt has been outstanding with the ball as the tournament’s leading wicket taker with nine wickets. Beth Mooney holds the key for Australia, Mooney has put together an outstanding tournament with 181 runs at an average of 45.25, with a strike rate of 118.30. Mooney has scores of 81*, 60 and 28 in her last three innings. Australia’s best chance to score will be against the new ball before the Indian spinners take over, expect Mooney to relish the opportunity on the big stage for Australia.
India have exceeded expectations by making the final without losing a game so far this tournament. They knocked off Australia on opening night, then won their following three matches in the group stage. India’s bowling has gotten the job done time and time again throughout the tournament as their spin bowlers lock down throughout the middle overs. India haven’t conceded more than 130 runs so far in the World Cup as equal leading wicket taker Poonam Yadav (9 wickets, at an average of 9.88, economy of 5.88) and Shikha Pandey (7 wickets, at an average of 12, economy of 5.30) have starred. If India are going to win this final they are going to have to dominate with the ball, like they did at the start of the tournament against Australia where Yadav took 4/19 and Pandey took 3/19. The Australians have struggled against spin bowling through the middle overs of T20’s in the last twelve months and with plenty of right handers in the Australian batting line up, Yadav is set to wreak havoc on Sunday.
Momentum is a massive factor in big game tournaments and Australia has plenty of it. The Aussies won three consecutive must win games to advance to the semi finals, before a dramatic semi final victory against the higher placed South Africa has the Aussies full of belief. India advancing to the via a washout may have halted India’s momentum. Australia have a massive advantage in big game experience over India. Australia have won four of the past five T20 World Cup’s, whilst this is India’s first appearance in a T20 World Cup final. This is an experienced Australian group who have continuously gotten the job done time and time again on the big stage. Australia bat deep and they are beginning to find form with the bat at the right time and with the power of Mooney and Healy at the top of the order could be the difference between the two sides. With the ball Australia have a much better balance with the ball, which is crucial in T20 cricket at the MCG. Australia simply has too much talent and experience across the line up for the Indians to handle. The Australians will win a home World Cup and make it five of the past six T20 Women’s World Cup titles.
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