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Big-match beast? Nah, just ‘brave’, and that’ll do just fine for Alyssa Healy


“It sounds a bit arrogant,” she had mentioned after scoring her maiden World Cup century, in the semi-final in opposition to West Indies on Thursday. “When someone says that… at the end of the day, I’ve been saying it all along this World Cup, it hasn’t really been a one-man show at any point.”

Three days on, Australia have been at their last vacation spot, Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Under a glowing blue sky, they have been despatched in to bat by means of protecting champions England, who they hadn’t met in a 50-over global event last since 1988, at a venue they hadn’t performed at after 2000.

New day. New floor. A recent pitch. A recent get started? Everything apart from Healy’s segue from the 129 from the semi-final to her colossal 170 within the summit conflict that arrange Australia list 7th ODI World Cup identify win.

How do you describe Healy, then? Especially the model of the batter that now has two Player-of-the-Final awards in as many global tournaments, around the limited-overs codecs, to not omit the various different accomplishments since being passed full-time opening tasks after Australia’s surprise ouster within the 2017 World Cup semi-final?

“Not sure I’ll let you name it. I’ll let you find it,” Healy mentioned, smiling, on the press interplay after the general, at the same time as Meg Lanning sat beaming by means of her aspect. “But, ‘brave’? I just think 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 back actually exhausting at you. They wish to take your wicket early and you were given to be courageous and again your abilities. So, for my part, I’m actually happy with that. I nonetheless do not suppose I’m a big-game participant. So, flip that down, however you simply were given to be courageous with the intention to do it.”

On Sunday, Healy etched her title in the list books, greater than as soon as, together with her 138-ball knock in Australia’s 97-run win. Her haul at this World Cup swelled to a whopping 509 runs, making her the first woman to score 500 runs in a 50-over World Cup, the first player [man or woman] to hit 150 or more in the final of a world tournament, and the first to hit a century in the semi-final and the final in one edition of a World Cup.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever dreamt of the rest like that earlier than, I will ensure you that,” Healy said. “But I’m simply actually proud to had been in a position to give a contribution to this win. I messaged Pez [Ellyse Perry] this morning after I discovered she used to be within the XI and I mentioned, like, ‘I simply wish to be part of it. I actually need this. I wish to give a contribution to this win and with the intention to do this used to be actually particular’.

“I ran drinks the whole 2013 World Cup. You know we didn’t make the final in 2017. So, for me, this trophy means a lot and to be able to turn up at the back end and go all right in the last two games means a whole heap.”

Healy’s 170 additionally surpassed Adam Gilchrist’s 149 because the easiest ranking in a World Cup last [2007] by means of an Australian wicketkeeper-batter.

“That’s pretty cool, [but] I’m not in the game for that sort of stuff. Getting our team into a winning position was the most important thing,” Healy mentioned. “I guess one day when I retire and I reflect on my career, it’s a moment that I can kind of remember and cherish that. I always looked up to Adam Gilchrist; Uncle Ian [Healy] first, but then Adam Gilchrist, so to knock him off the pedestal – sorry about that – but I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”

That Australia was the primary workforce in a females’s ODI World Cup last to breach the 300-run mark used to be right down to the 160-run stand with left-handed spouse Rachael Haynes, the easiest for any wicket in a 50-over females’s World Cup last. Of that tally, 86 runs got here off Healy’s bat, off simply 83 balls.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Haynes, the vice-captain, mentioned after hanging on a 2nd instantly 100-plus stand with Healy within the event. “It [Healy’s effort] is not lost on me. Her style of play really takes the pressure off me and allows me just to play my game and bat deep into the innings. She was phenomenal today. That was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen and pretty special that she saved it for such a big occasion.”

After Australia completed the activity within the forty fourth over of England’s chase, Healy admitted the sheer duration of her innings of over 3 hours, and the facility she packed into it, took so much out of her. “I don’t know if you could tell; I haven’t batted that long ever,” she mentioned on the presentation to Lisa Sthalekar, who later patted Healy’s cheek after hanging the winners’ medal round her neck on the presentation rite.

Her captain Lanning, beneath whom she, and Australia, now have 3 T20 and one 50-over global titles, used to be understandably effusive in her reward of Healy.

“I was, like, ‘Can you get out already? I want to get out there [and bat],” Lanning joked. “No, I was thoroughly enjoying it from the sidelines. I think it’s easy to sort of remember the back end but I think one of the most important parts of Midge’s [Healy’s] innings was actually the start and how patient and well-drilled she was to get herself into that position.

“And that is one thing now we have spoken about so much as a batting team, is being affected person early and atmosphere the platform to permit us to head large on the again finish. And that used to be what Alyssa did as of late amazingly neatly and gave herself the chance to have some a laugh on the again finish. We have been completely loving it at the sidelines. It used to be a fantastic knock and one thing tremendous particular.”

Lanning, who made her 100th ODI appearance on the day, also made it clear she wasn’t entirely “shocked” at Healy delivering in the final because “she’s performed it earlier than [at the 2020 T20 World Cup final at the MCG] and he or she’s simply in a position to come back out and play so neatly”. She added, “a few of the ones photographs she used to be enjoying have been ridiculous”.

A bouquet of those came in the latter part of Healy’s stay in the middle, after she had been dropped by Nat Sciver in the 21st over when she was on 41, three balls after Danni Wyatt had reprieved Haynes, then on 46. Healy plundered runs in the reverse ‘V’, 16 off which came in four fours, all through the scoop shot.

“That used to be lovely cool,” Healy said of the scoop, a stroke she worked on following the 2020 T20 World Cup in trying to evolve into a 360-degree batter. “It’s one thing that I’ve actually attempted to carry into my sport a little bit bit extra during the last couple of seasons.

“They [the bowlers] are getting really skillful, and being able to shut down parts of the ground. So, 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.”

Her trademark inside-out lofted quilt pressure used to be on show all alongside, and Healy used the sweep, too, to excellent impact. It allowed her to get right of entry to the often-unpatrolled portions of the bottom.

“The sweep shot for me is something that I’ve probably brought in later on in my career and it really opened a few doors for me in this World Cup,” Healy mentioned. “It’s a big value of our side to keep evolving and it’s one that I really enjoy. I mean, you get bored every day turning up in the nets and hitting half-volleys, so to be able to practise some, some new and inventive things, is a really good thing. So it was good fun.”

The ruthlessness Healy subjected the England assault, together with global No. 1 white-ball bowler Sophie Ecclestone, to used to be in all probability highest summarised by means of opposition captain Heather Knight.

“She obviously moved around a lot, hit the ball off the stumps quite a lot, and with only four out at the back end on a very good wicket with a quick outfield, it was really tricky actually,” Knight mentioned. “The bowlers tried their best, but the pressure that she built against us, it was just a top knock, wasn’t it?

“It used to be very difficult as a result of she hit in every single place the bottom. It used to be exhausting to close her down and close down one aspect of the bottom.”

Perhaps nothing but “courageous” can actually describe a player who has reinvented her game to a point that owning a World Cup final has become something of a habit now. And, to borrow from Lanning, it is “ridiculous” that Healy’s maiden international century and her biggest innings would bookend two high points in Australia’s redemption act since the 2017 World Cup semi-final exit: the 2018 tour of India that set them on a world-record successful streak and the 2022 ODI World Cup identify win.



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