WELLINGTON: Alyssa Healy hit her fourth one-day century in a monumental opening stand as Australia cruised into the Women’s World Cup final with a crushing 157-run victory over West Indies at Basin Reserve on Wednesday.
Australia will now face either holders England or South Africa, who meet in Thursday’s second semi-final, in Christchurch on Sunday looking to claim the trophy for the seventh time in 12 editions of the World Cup.
The start of the match was delayed by rain but Australia wasted no time in asserting their dominance when they were put in to bat, racing to an imposing 305 for three on the back of the 216-run opening partnership between Healy and Rachael Haynes.
Healy hammered 129 off 107 balls, while Haynes made 85 off 100 before departing to trigger a mini collapse which Beth Mooney (43 not out) and skipper Meg Lanning (26 not out) stemmed in a fourth-wicket partnership of 69.
“We came in expecting a very difficult game today and I think Healy and Haynes really set it up for us,” said Lanning. “We’ll certainly enjoy the win, but we came here to win the tournament so that’s what we’re looking for.
We don’t mind who we play, they’re both pretty incredible teams.“ West Indies were not helped by their poor fielding, while a hamstring injury sustained while chasing a ball to the boundary restricted off spinner Anisa Mohammed to only two overs.
Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews both scored 34s in the chase and captain Stafanie Taylor contributed 48 but West Indies were always behind the run rate required if they were to overhaul the Australian tally.
Healy continued her fine performance with a direct hit to run out Chedean Nation and, with Mohammed and Chinelle Henry unable to bat because of injury and illness, West Indies were dismissed for 148 in 37 overs. “A big partnership deflates a whole team and that’s what Australia did,” said Taylor.
“We needed someone to bat the whole innings and we never had that.”