Australian women cricket team won the World Cup by beating England women cricket team by 71 runs.
This tournament, with its sea of final-over finishes, called for a competitive final, but Australia had not read that script. Their version was to pile on the runs first up, making a mockery of Heather Knight’s decision to bowl first. Australia had 160 up before England managed to make a single breakthrough – the highest partnership for any wicket, ever, in a World Cup final – and 316 before the next one came.
Australian women cricket team score card
As for Alyssa Healy’s innings – 170 off 138 balls, including 26 boundaries – what can you say? England had kept her relatively quiet for the first ten, but when she danced down the track and lofted Charlie Dean for four over mid-on in the 12th over, it set the scene for what was to follow: not just the highest individual innings in any World Cup final (women’s or men’s), but the most audacious one too.
Runs came thick and fast, all around the ground – Katherine Brunt’s short balls were pulled ferociously, Dean was driven out of the attack, and tournament leading wicket-taker Sophie Ecclestone went for 71 across her 10 overs. Healy reached her ton in the 35th over and from there, all bets were off as she added another 70 runs in just 38 deliveries. All the while England had to deal with the knowledge that Nat Sciver had put the opener down at midwicket on 41 – an error that cost them 129 runs.
With 356 runs on the board at the innings break, England might as well have got on the plane then and there, although an unbeaten 148 from Nat Sciver in the run chase did at least give them something to cheer about as they watched the fruits of their 2017 victory slip through their fingers.