Tuesday, June 25, 2024

ICC: Healy – Australia batters have bowlers to thank for latest win

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Photo Credit: ICC

Alyssa Healy paid tribute to Australia’s bowlers after she and Beth Mooney chased down 113 to defeat Sri Lanka by ten wickets.

Megan Schutt took four for 24 and Grace Harris claimed two for seven to suffocate Sri Lanka in Gqeberha, Harshitha Samarawickrama top scoring with 34.

Healy and Mooney both brought up half-centuries in reply as Australia reached their target inside 16 overs to claim a third straight win at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.

“We’ve been really lucky, the last two games our bowlers have done an outstanding job on those wickets, restricting teams to fairly low totals,” Healy said.

“As an opening batter, going out there knowing you are chasing less than a run a ball, it does make it a little more comfortable.

“As a batting group, it’s been a real focus of ours to make sure we’re hitting straight and getting back down the ground and not giving up our stumps, getting hit on the pads and things like that.

“I think we’ve done that really well, we’ve adapted really well to that and we’ll just keep doing that the best we can.”

Harris was a star both with the ball and in the field, picking up her first-ever wickets at a World Cup, while also dismissing Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu with a flying catch.

Healy praised Harris’ individual personality for relaxing Australia and warned that she is set to deliver with the bat just as she did with the ball today.

She added: “I’m really proud of Grace coming back into our group. Everyone is just embracing who Grace is and letting Grace be Grace out there on the field and also off the park as well. 

“She’s an unbelievable character, and if you haven’t had the chance of sitting at brekkie or going to have a drink with her of an evening, do that, because it’s an absolute laugh a minute.

“She’s a great person to have around our side, not just for the personality, but for her skills on the park as well.

“She’s unbelievably damaging with the bat in hand. We haven’t quite seen that just yet, but I guess that’s something exciting probably heading into the back end of this tournament.”

Although Athapaththu admitted her side were well short of the 150-run target they had set for themselves, she believed the incredible catch from Harris was a turning point.

She said: “It was a good catch and in that moment the game changed.

“Grace Harris in that kind of mood is a really good fielder and she is a really good player. I got out early and while Harshitha [Samarawickrama] batted well, Vishmi [Gunuratne] could not find her natural rhythm. 

“We had to score 150-plus runs on this wicket, as Australia have a great batting line-up.

“The bowlers bowled in the right areas but we had to stick with our plan, which we didn’t do, and that is why we lost the game.”

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