Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy starred for Australia in a thrilling six-wicket win against India in the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 here in Auckland on Saturday.
Set a target of 278 at the Eden Park, Australia smashed their own record of the highest successful chase in a Women's World Cup game. The previous highest successful chase in a World Cup game was Australia's 258, against Sri Lanka in 2017. Australia who are currently unbeaten in the World Cup 2022 have now qualified for the semi-final with 5 wins.
Meg Lanning played a brilliant knock of 97 while opener Alyssa Healy laid the foundation for Australian victory with a quick 72. The other Aussie opener Rachael Haynes contributed with a crucial 43 while Beth Mooney and Ellyse Perry played an unbeaten innings of 30* and 28 respectively.
Alyssa Healy set the tone from the start, smashing five boundaries in the first five overs to get Australia off to a flying start. Rachael Haynes, who was mostly a silent spectator in the early exchanges, wasn't to be left far behind as she too got in on the act, finishing the Powerplay at a run-a-ball 25.
Australia looked in command throughout, and apart from a couple of run-out opportunities, didn't really offer India any chances on the field.
The opening pair soon brought up the second 100-run opening stand in this edition of the World Cup - the first one being the partnership between Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews of West Indies, which also came against India.
India finally broke through in the 20th over with the wicket of Healy. The reverse-sweep off Sneh Rana went straight into the hands of Mithali Raj at third slip, thus breaking the 121-run stand. Soon after, Pooja Vastrakar's well-directed short-ball hurried Raynes, edging the ball to the gloves of Richa Ghosh. At the halfway stage, Australia were 142/2 with Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry at the crease.
India's hope to get back in the game were short-lived as Lanning and Perry dropped the anchor with runs kept coming at ease for the Aussie duo. After 40 overs in the innings, the rain interrupted the play for a bit which helped India as after the resumption, Perry fell for 28 off Vastrakar.
Beth Mooney joined Lanning on the crease and made sure Australia did not lose their composure going into the death overs. The chase became tricky when Lanning fell 3 runs short of her century in the penultimate over but Beth Mooney saw the game off for Australia in the last over.
Earlier, fighting knocks from Mithali Raj, Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur's late flourish helped India to reach the score of 277/7 in 50 overs.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj played a gritty inning of 68 while Yastika Bhatia scored 59 at the Eden Park. Harmanpreet Kaur's unbeaten 57 and Pooja Vastrakar's 34 aided the Women in Blue to finish on high. Teenager Darcie Brown scalped three wickets while Alana King picked two for Australia.
Brief Scores: India 277/7 (Mithali Raj 68, Yastika Bhatia 59; Darcie Brown 3-30) vs Australia 280/4 (Meg Lanning 97, Alyssa Healy 72; Pooja Vastrakar 2/43).