Healy, Haynes power Australia into Women’s World Cup final

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A brilliant 216-run opening-wicket partnership between Alyssa Healy (129 from 107 balls) and Rachael Haynes (85 from 100) helped Australia book their place in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final with a dominant 157-run victory over the West Indies at Basin Reserve here on Wednesday.

Thanks to Healy and Haynes’ stand, the six-time World Cup winners scored a mammoth 305/3 in their rain-reduced match before bundling out the Stafanie Taylor-led West Indies for 148 in 37 overs to win the contest by 157 runs.

While Healy and Haynes were the star performers in the 45-overs-a-side affair, they received plenty of support from their teammates as a disciplined performance in the field and clinical effort with the ball ensured Australia’s spot in the final. The Meg Lanning-led side will meet the winner of the second semifinal between England and South Africa on Sunday.

Experienced spinner Jess Jonassen (2/14) claimed two wickets and five others picked up one scalp each, while Beth Mooney came up with another superb catch to go with her unbeaten 43 with the bat.

West Indies skipper Taylor (48) played a lone hand in the run chase while Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews managed 34 runs each at the top of the order, but they received little support with two batters unable to take the crease as Australia romped to a big win.

Earlier, Healy and Haynes looked in sublime form, scoring with ease as Australia amassed 305 after being sent in to bat first. It was a scintillating partnership from Healy and Haynes, as the duo feasted on some poor West Indies bowling and an even lacklustre fielding to put on the third highest opening stand in Australia’s Women’s One-day International history.

Initially, Healy took some time to get used to the overcast conditions as the Australian openers put on just 37 from their opening nine-over powerplay period. But it didn’t take long for Healy to find her rhythm as she overtook Haynes and then went from 50 to 100 in just 28 deliveries to bring up the fourth ODI century of her career.

Healy found the boundary 17 times during her innings and even managed to clear the rope with a massive hit over mid-on from a rank Karishma Ramharack full toss that pushed her score into the 90s.

Haynes was more circumspect during her stay and was given a pair of lives off the bowling of the unlucky Ramharack, with the usually reliable Matthews’ culpable for dropping an easy chance at mid-on when Australia’s score was 141.

Shamilia Connell (1/45) finally made the breakthrough when she had Healy caught in the deep in the 33rd over, as the attention turned to Haynes to see if she could reach her own three figure milestone.

Chinelle Henry (2/51) made sure she didn’t and the West Indies seamer also picked up Ash Gardner – promoted up the order to number three – in the same over to help reduce Australia to 236/3.

But Mooney and Meg Lanning (26 not out) combined to boost the score past 300 and leave West Indies with a mountain that was too difficult to climb as Australia moved through to the title decider with ease.

Brief scores: Australia 305/3 in 45 overs (Rachael Haynes 85, Alyssa Healy 129, Meg Lanning 26 not out, Beth Mooney 43 not out; Chinelle Henry 2/51) beat West Indies 148 in 37 overs (Deandra Dottin 34, Hayley Matthews 34, Stafanie Taylor 48; Jess Jonassen 2/14) by 157 runs.

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