As the sun came out in Melbourne on Sunday, there was not-seen-before excitement in the air among sports fans. And why it shouldn’t be so? Arguably, one of the most remarkable days in women’s sports was in the offing. Cricket fanatics lined up and packed the Melbourne cricket ground to the rafters on the occasion of International women’s day.
Whole occasion was built up with a performance of international superstar Katty Perry to start with. And there was also a world cup final to be played! Home captain Meg Lanning won the toss and elected to put the score on the board first in the championship game.
Alyssa Healy decided to put down the marker straight away and Indians were found out wanting in the field to let the game drift away from them. They dropped a couple of straight forward opportunities and looked nervous on the big occasion. Healy didn’t need second invitation and belted the bowling around for fun. Her power hitting put on an exhibition which is a rare thing in women’s cricket.
Beth Mooney played the second fiddle perfectly to Healy and helped Australia post a massive 184 in final. Both openers made impactful 75 & 78 respectively. In reply, India needed to play out of their skins to make a match of this.
Unfortunately again, their start was a disastrous one with teenage sensation and find of the world cup Shafali Verma dismissed for just 2 on the third ball of the innings. Australians were switched on and didn’t give an inch to India. Horror run of Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur continues as Megan Schutt took 4-18 to bundle India out for just 99. Australia won the game by 85 runs to register their 5th title.
Melbourne put on a glorious day and crowd didn’t disappoint either. The official attendance was over 86k and some of great names in women’s sports were also present at the occasion. This was the highest attendance for a women’s cricket match and 2nd overall in any sports.