Time for Australia to collect their medals, florescent yellow pyjamas and huge smiles.
“I think we’ve been extremely consistent over a long period of time,” says Lanning, “and to come out and peform so well over the whole tournament was great. We knew we had to have a number of different people perform, and we did, young players keeping more experienced players on their toes. Alyssa was incredible, I’m probably not surprised to be honest, she’s done it before. Nat Sciver is an incredible player, a special innings which in any other day could have been a match winning one. What next? We’ll celebrate this one first, its really important to look back at this period and how successful it’s been, it hadn’t been easy, they’ve been ups and downs in this thing.”
She thanks England and then, with a lump in her throat, thanks the support staff and the team, before rejoining the team and lifting the trophy with a huge smile. The fireworks go off and Men at Work is played over the sound system.
England collect their World Cup medals, Beaumont is wearing shorts and Sciver is walking with a limp.
“I think it was a fifty fifty decision at the toss,” says Knight, “credit to Australia, that was a remarkable innings, not really a pleasure to watch but outstanding. Unbelievable from Nat, skill against spin, against seam, just a shame we didn’t have anyone who could stick with her. I’m super proud of the group how we managed to turn things around,t he players and the staff as well, but unfortunately it was one win too many for us. Special mention to Sophie Ecclestone, leading wicket-taker, watching those young players perform gives me a great deal of pleasure.”
What a star she is.
We were lucky enough to watch two supreme centuries today from Nat Sciver and Alyssa Healy. Both batters have been in wonderful form during the tournament. Sciver scooping her way to 148 not out in a losing cause and Alyssa Healy’s scintillating 170, the highest ever score in a World Cup final, which took Australia up, away and into the stratosphere. She is, of course, player of the match and player of the tournament award as well. Not a bad month’s work.
“I don’t really think I should get this award,” she tells Mel Jones, “I only really turned up for the last two games, Rach did most of the work.”
A thoroughly deserved win for Australia. They’re just an awesome team, fearless, supremely confident in their skills, almost flawless in the field. Well led, bold and disciplined, with a hand of all-time greats. They’re heads and shoulders above all the other teams – unbeaten in the tournament – that’s what professionalism does I guess.
Alyssa Healy, she of the highest World Cup score ever, is talking, smeared with suncream and grinning. “It’s not sunk in yet. It was a special game of cricket, very high scoring. It is something we have been working towards for a long period of time. To get over the line was pretty cool. The job was half done, we knew we had a good total. But we knew their lineup was peaking at the right time. The bowlers held their nerves. Sciver played a special knock, almost got them over the line. It was nice to get out there and put up a good total on board. Proud of the batting group and whole group. I think everyone has worked very hard for this. It has been a five-year wait for a title people said we would have had. Will reflect on the three months that we have had.”
The teams shake hands as Australia celebrate. The England team line up to hug Sciver and Shrubsole too – Sciver is proudly resigned, Shrubsole shedding a tear. We get a close up of Lanning taking that last catch – the woman is made of steel, such a look of utter determination. And a hint of a smile.
Australia win the World Cup by 71 runs!
WICKET! Shrubsole c Lanning b Jonassen 1 A step too far for Shrubsole as she dances down the pitch, plonks the ball in the air and Lanning running backwards takes a fine catch at mid-off. Jubilation for the green and gold, despair for England.
43rd over: England 280-9 (Sciver 143, Shrubsole 1) England need 77 from 42 balls Money on Shrubsole to be England’s hero for the second World Cup in a row?
WICKET! Dean c Jonassen b Gardner 21 (England 272-9)
Scoreboard pressure! Dean goes for the needed boundary but her reverse-sweep can only reach Jonassen at third.
42nd over: England 275-8 (Sciver 141, Dean 19)England need 82 from 42 balls Jonassen, towel in her back pocket to wipe the dew from her hands, trundles in. Sciver smears her up and over long on but Mooney takes the ball one handed on the bounce to prevent it going over the rope. Brilliant. No boundary.
41st over: England 269-8 (Sciver 137, Dean 17) Gardener bowls her first over at a time of high pressure. Her first ball is reverse-swept for four, and England keep plucking away – ten from it. Dean doing her job with aplomb.
40th over: England 256-8 (Sciver 130, Dean 14) A mwah over from England, an attempted scoop by Dean, a near run out, and no boundaries. England need 98 from 60 balls.
39th over: England 256-8 (Sciver 128, Dean 13) Sciver brings up the 250 with a scoop. Australia don’t look rattled… yet. The current run rate is 6.56, the required run rate 9.18. The crowd aren’t going anywhere, but the blankets are out and, I’ve got to admit, they look cold.
38th over: England 242-8 (Sciver 121, Dean 11) Through the glass darkly the camera shows Anya Shrubsole, arms folded, crouched over a desk. King finishes her spell (3-64) but not before Sciver somehow survives one that skims past leg stump. England need 110 from 72 balls – it’s possible folks!
37th over: England 242-8 (Sciver 117, Dean 10) McGrath leaking runs. A brilliant bit of fielding from Perry (who has been outstanding in the field today) stops the boundary from Sciver but she takes another from a scoop that is in nodding distance with the bails.
36th over: England 233-8 (Sciver 109, Dean 9) Now that’s gorgeous – Sciver dances down and kettles the ball between mid-wicket and mid-on for four. And there’s another, this time from Dean, who punches Jonassen through the covers. Sciver has now got the fifth highest score in any cricket World Cup final. (Healy is of course top).
Nat Sciver makes her second World Cup hundred against Australia!
35th over: England 223-8 (Sciver 104, Dean 4) A fumble on the boundary allows Sciver to come back for the second and that’s a fantastic hundred, brave and bold. She. pulls her helmet off (nice earrings) raises her bat and looks to the heavens as England stand to applaud her. So do the crowd. Her second hundred against Australia in this World Cup.
WICKET! Cross c and b Jonassen (England 213-8)
Cross tries to chip the ball to long-on but gets squared up and rather a limp plonk falls into the arms of the diving Jonassen.
33rd over: England 207-7 (Sciver 93 , Cross 1) The camera pans to the England bench where they sit stone faced, arms crossed. England need 150 off 102 balls. Can Nat Sciver do a Ben Stokes?
WICKET! Ecclestone lbw McGrath 3 (England 206-7)
A cross seamer traps a static Ecclestone in the crease.
32nd over: England 204-6 (Sciver 92 , Ecclestone 2) The England two hundred comes up and Sciver celebrates by sweeping King for four. Around the ground the crowd’s hoodies are now firmly pulled up and tied tightly under their chins
30th over: England 191-6 (Sciver 82 , Ecclestone 0) Sciver reverse sweeps for four before Brunt falls. They pause for drinks.
WICKET! Brunt stumped King 1 (England 191-6)
Brunt outfoxed! She goes on the charge, the ball fruit-loops past the outside edge and as Brunt pitches forward Healy whips the bails off.
29th over: England 184-5 (Sciver 75 , Brunt 1) Cute little paddle from Sciver but she can only get the toe end of the bat on it. England have a problem now iin that they need runs from both ends. Though Brunt is playing in her third World Cup final, I shouldn’t be doubting her.
28th over: England 179-5 (Sciver 71 , Brunt 0) Ah for shame. England down to the batters now as the paddle sweep causes Dunkley’s downfall again.
WICKET! Dunkley b King 22 (England 179-5)
Round her legs! Exactly the same as Hamilton as the ball fizzes from outside leg stump to ping back leg stump.
26th over: England 176-4 (Sciver 70 , Dunkley 21) It’s cat and mouse at the moment, England going for the big shots, but hitting the Australian outfielders. I take that back, Dunkley leans back and cuts Schutt’s last ball for four, high and over the leaping point.
25th over: England 169-4 (Sciver 68 , Dunkley 15) England eye up King, big hitting but they can’t reach the boundary. And the sky around the Oval turns burnt orange in the most beautiful sunset.
It’s Ed Kay again:
“How are you bearing up? I doubt you’ll need too much coffee this morning with the adrenaline England are giving us with this chase! It’s a tough watch! Every time we start to score freely the Aussies pull out another wicket.
My heart veers between “this is going to be the most incredible run chase, in the most exciting final, of all time!” to “we’ll be all out for 200” and at four down I have to say that my head is with the latter. But while Sciver and Dunkley are at the crease there’s still hope!”
So true. I feel like its impossible really, but England are going about it just the right way so – hope lives.
25th over: England 163-4 (Sciver 65 , Dunkley 12) Dunkley is dropped! By Lanning at cover. A hard chance but you’d expect Lanning to hold on as she throws herself in the air. Next ball, to rub salt in the wound, Sciver pulls Jonassen for four. Four more singles and England march boldly on.
24th over: England 154-4 (Sciver 59 , Dunkley 10)Dunkley down on one knee and almost pulls the ball onto the stumps. Then Sciver, up and over, says Nasser, and it is. Four more!
23rd over: England 144-4 (Sciver 53 , Dunkley 6)
“Thanks for these updates, no Sky for me so it’s good to keep abreast of how England are doing in the final.
My question is whether the Guardian can put a scorecard up along with the updates. It would give me a better idea of where we are in the game. They normally do hence me sending this one out”
Ah scorecard – yes. Apologies Harold. I’ll try and find someone to sort it in the office.. But you do know you can follow it on free to air via Sky’s youtube channel or free to air channels showcase and pick.
Fifty for Sciver!
22nd over: England 139-4 (Sciver 50 , Dunkley 4) Sciver reaches fifty with a single and I’ve temporarily lost TV coverage, apologies.
21st over: England 131-4 (Sciver 47 , Dunkley 1) This is England’s last recognised pair of batters. No pressure.
WICKET! Jones c King b Jonassen 20 (England 129-4)
Jones dances down to Jonassen but can only send it up to scrape the moon, and as it falls back to earth King, peddling backwards, takes it with both hands. She punches the air in delight.
20th over: England 127-3 (Sciver 45 , Jones 19) Sciver has her eye on Brown – smashing her for two consecutive fours, all twinkling feet and flashing blade. She and Jones grin at each other – nothing like being an underdog in a challenge. Thirteen from the over.And ridiculously, England are pulling away from Australia in the required run rate.
19th over: England 112-3 (Sciver 35 , Jones 13) The sun is starting to set on the beautiful Hagley Oval and England are keeping chipper, hustling singles off Jonassen and then Jones crashes four through midwicket.
18th over: England 105-3 (Sciver 34 , Jones 9) Sciver scoops to conquer and away McGrath is sent, flying down to the boundary. England tip and run more, and they’re on this. If only there wasn’t such a mountain to climb.
“Good afternoon Tanya (well good morning in your time)“ Hello Christine Mulhearn.
“It’s a cold and dreary day in Canberra and it looks infinitely better weather in New Zealand – which is not really how this usually works!
I am at work preparing for a big week ahead finding it very distracting whilst reading the blog and listening on the radio
Alyssa Healy’s innings was just magnificent and whilst it has done amazing things for Australia, I fear it means a couple more hours in the office as I haven’t been working that hard….
Perhaps the Aussies can bowl England out quickly and I can get back to concentrating on work (well that’s my excuse for wanting a quick win anyway)“