Australia’s first-wicket pair put on 216 runs – the highest partnership at this edition of the tournament
Innings Australia Women 305 for 3 (Healy 129, Haynes 85) vs West Indies Women
After rain over Wellington’s Basin Reserve had delayed the start by an hour and 45 minutes and reduced the overs, Australia’s first-wicket pair put on 216 runs – the highest partnership at this edition of the tournament – passing the 196 put on by Haynes and Meg Lanning for the second wicket against England.
Despite a sedate start by Healy, West Indies’ bowlers struggled to find their lines and lengths after winning the toss. A rash of fielding mistakes spread from tough chance to squandered gifts as Healy overtook Haynes, to whom she’d played a supporting role initially. Healy’s first fifty runs came off 63 balls while her second came from just 28. She finished with 17 fours and a six.
After the powerplay, reduced to nine overs because of the rain delay, Australia were 37 without loss, although Healy hadn’t found the boundary while Haynes looked in fine touch, punishing anything short or overpitched as she picked off four fours en route to 26 from 34 balls.
With four spinners at her disposal, West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor turned to Hayley Matthews in the ninth over and she got her offbreaks turning ferociously at the outset, using a patch of green grass outside the right-hander’s off-stump to find some grip.
Encouraged, Taylor brought on Anisa Mohammed – replacement for Afy Fletcher, who was out after testing positive for Covid-19 – a short time later and her third legitimate delivery – a full toss – yielded Healy’s first four as she cleared mid-on, and she brought up Australia’s fifty with a single off the next ball, which was another full toss.
With Healy finding her groove, having survived on 5 when Chinelle Henry spilled a difficult return catch, she struck three fours off six balls from Mohammed and Henry, and Karishma Ramharack promptly replaced Mohammed in the attack as West Indies searched for a way to break the union, which at that point stood at 74.
Even a return to pace with Deandra Dottin failed as each Australian clubbed a four – one square and one behind square on the leg side. Both reached fifty in the same Ramharack over, the 22nd of the innings, and then worse was to come for Dottin, who conceded 18 off her third over in which a gorgeous Haynes pull to the deep midwicket boundary was bookended by fours driven wide of cover and threaded through fine leg by Healy.
Haynes miscued a sweep off Ramharack only to be put down by Shamilia Connell at midwicket, and by the time Healy heaved Ramharack over mid-off, a patch of bright sunshine had broken through. But the pall of missed opportunity hung heavy over West Indies when Matthews put down a sitter at mid-on four balls later that would have seen Haynes dismissed for 61.
It got even worse for West Indies as Mohammed, chasing hard to stop another Healy boundary, pulled up with what looked like a serious hamstring injury that required the first-aid cart to take her from the field.
Healy then smacked a Ramharack full toss from about a foot above head height down the ground for a 73m six over long-on and struck the next ball for four back down the ground to move to 98. She brought up her maiden World Cup century – and fourth in ODIs – with a single through cover, with a visceral “yeeeeessss!” as she struck the ball.
Healy was put down again on 123 by substitute fielder Shakera Selman running in from long-on, but she made amends a short time later, diving forwards at mid-off to hold onto a Healy top-edge off Connell and finally give West Indies a wicket.
With nine overs remaining, Australia plumped for big-hitting finisher Ashleigh Gardner instead of usual No. 3 Meg Lanning. Haynes fell spooning Henry to Dottin at extra cover for 85, and Gardner was caught behind off Henry without making an impact.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo