Christchurch, April 3 (IANS) Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy believes that winning the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 completes the final piece of the puzzle of her team’s quest to be the best in the world.
Healy was the star of the final against England at a nearly fully-packed Hagley Oval, making a brilliant 170 runs from 138 balls laced with 26 fours as Australia posted a mammoth 356/5 and eventually won the final by 71 runs.
The seventh World Cup trophy also completes the redemption circle undertaken by Australia after they were shockingly knocked out by India in the semifinals of the 2017 edition at Derby.
“I don’t think relief is the right word. I think it’s just pride. I’m so proud of this group to be able to, I use the word reinvent, but whatever word you want to use, we came together as a squad and said: ‘This is how we want to play our cricket from now on and we’re going to be the best team in the world’,” said Healy in the post-match virtual press conference.
“For all 15 people in our squad – and the girls outside the squad that have come in and contributed to be able to buy into that, which has been unbelievable. I think that’s a culture created by the lady sitting next to me (captain Meg Lanning) and Rach (vice-captain Rachael Haynes) and Motty (head coach Matthew Mott).”
“I’m just really proud of this group to have done what we’ve done over the last five years and I think the trophy in our hands is just the final little piece of the puzzle that needed to happen,” added Healy, adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ as well as ‘Player of the Tournament’.
Healy’s 170 was her second successive century in the tournament after 129 against West Indies in the semi-final. It was also her third big knock in ICC events, starting from a 39-ball 75 against India in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at Melbourne in March 2020. Healy attributed her stepping up to the big occasion to being brave with the bat, of which she is ‘proud’ about.
“You’ve got to be brave to come out in situations like that to be able to play your game, you know that the opposition are going to come really hard at you, they want to take your wicket early, and you got to be brave and back your skills. So, personally I’m really proud of that. I still don’t think I’m big game player. So tone that down. But I think you just got to be brave to be able to do it. So trying to be it.”
During her knock, Healy brought out the scoop thrice and fetched boundaries. Asked about unveiling the shot to rattle England, Healy remarked, “That was pretty cool. It’s something that I’ve really tried to bring into my game a little bit more over the last couple of seasons and are getting really good. They’ve always been good, don’t get me wrong.”
“But they’re getting really skillful and being able to shut down parts of the ground. As a batter, you’ve really got to keep evolving your game and continue to open up all areas of the ground. Otherwise, you get stuck a little bit. So, it was pleasing to see them come off today.”