The heroes: Alyssa Healy (75 from 39 balls) set a new record for the highest score in a women’s T20 World Cup final – only for opening partner Beth Mooney to break it with an unbeaten 78 from 54 of her own.
After Australia elected to bat, Healy showed zero nerves in front of an enormous crowd to dispatch Shikha Pandey’s first delivery of the match, a full toss, to the boundary. She found the rope three times in an eventful opening over which also saw her dropped on nine after Shafali Verma put down a chance at cover.
Healy made India pay for the error and continued to ride her luck, working brilliantly with Mooney to take Australia to 0-49 at the end of the powerplay, before taking on the left-arm spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad with two huge sixes.
Bringing up her half-century from just 30 balls, with yet another four, Healy feasted on the pace of Pandey with three consecutive maximums before chancing her arm one time too many in the 12th, caught on the boundary as Radha Yadav finally made the first breakthrough for India.
After she departed, the ice-cool Mooney – who had largely been content to feed her partner the strike – upped the ante. She brought up a half-century of her own from 41 deliveries, stroking 10 boundaries. Mooney’s quick running kept the pressure on the Indian fielders as she made the most of any fumbles, finishing unbeaten on 78.
The crowd: 86,174 people packed into the MCG, setting a new record for a standalone women’s sporting event in Australia – and ensuring every Australian run and wicket was greeted with a deafening roar. There was a magical moment in the 15th over of India’s batting innings, when the lights of tens of thousands of mobile phone torches lit up the ‘G.
The moment: Shafali Verma, India’s leading run-scorer heading into the final and their fastest striker, made it clear she was not afraid to go after Megan Schutt, smacking her back over her own head from the first ball of India’s chase. But the Australian spearhead showed her quality with a brilliant back-of-a-length in-swinger that caught the edge of the teenager’s bat, into the gloves of Healy, and Verma had to depart for two.
The support cast: As they have been all tournament, Megan Schutt (4-18) and Jess Jonassen (3-20) were clutch with the ball. Schutt removed Verma with her third delivery, before Jonassen’s double strike ensured India’s powerful top-order all return to the dugout cheaply.
The key wickets: After Taniya Bhatia was forced to leave the field after a mistimed sweep saw her struck on the helmet in the second over, Jess Jonassen picked up Australia’s second when Jemimah Rodrigues hit a simple catch to Nicola Carey at mid-on. India were then in serious trouble when experienced opener Smriti Mandhana struck Sophie Molineux’s first ball of the match down the throat of Carey, leaving them 3-18.
Hopes rested on the shoulder of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, playing on her 31st birthday. She had endured a tough tournament, passing single digits just once, but looked like she may turn things around when she struck a boundary off Jonassen in the sixth over. But she holed out the following delivery, brilliantly caught on the boundary by Ashleigh Gardner.
The consolation act: Deepti Sharma stood up with bat and ball in a tough day for India, picking up two wickets from her four overs, before top-scoring under pressure with a 33-ball 35.
The stat: Healy's half-century off 30 balls was the fastest fifty in any ICC final, for men or women.