Australia smack 184 in women's T20 World Cup final

Melbourne (AFP) –


Alyssa Healy smashed a quick-fire 75 and Beth Mooney an unbeaten 78 as defending champions Australia plundered 184 for four in the women's Twenty20 World Cup final against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Sunday.

The home team won the toss on a fine day and chose to bat in front of a big crowd, warmed up before the match by pop superstar Katy Perry.

Healy, whose husband Mitchell Starc jetted back from Australia's tour of South Africa to watch her play, showed intent straight away with a boundary off Deepti Sharma's first ball.

She smacked two more in an eventful opening over which also saw her dropped by Shafali Verma.

Opening partner Mooney also had an early let-off, with Rajashwari Gayakwad putting down a caught and bowled chance when she was on eight.

India was nervous and their fielding poor, with the batswomen running quick singles.

An aggressive Healy was in fine touch and smashed two big sixes in succession off Gayakwad before bringing up her 12th T20 half-century with yet another boundary.

Australia, who are targeting a fifth world title, reached 91 without loss at the halfway mark, with Healy then hitting three successive sixes off Shikha Pandey who was taken for 23 in the over.

But her luck finally ran out going for another big hit, caught off Radha Yadav for 75 from just 39 balls.

At the other end, Mooney quietly went about her business to bring up her ninth T20 half-century before three late wickets fell.

Skipper Meg Lanning was caught for 16, Ashleigh Gardner lasted just three balls and Rachael Haynes made only four.

But the late fightback wasn't enough to prevent Australia posting the highest score ever in a women's T20 World Cup final.