Australia opener Alyssa Healy said her team should have scored more than they did in their Women’s World T20 opener against Pakistan in Providence, and backed a powerful batting line-up to push for 180 or more the coming games.
Healy smacked 48 off 29 balls at the top of the order, and Australia made 165 for 5, a total they defended by 52 runs.
“I think if we’re honest, we probably left a few out. I think they bowled really well in the middle period and sort of shut us down a little bit,” Healy said after the game. “In saying that, chasing 160, 170 on that wicket was never going to be easy. So I think batting line-up did a really good job in the end, but I think moving forward we’ll look to push 180.
“I think the other night sort of scared us off a little bit. When we played South Africa, we were a bit worried about the conditions we were potentially going to get. But watching the game before us today on the telly, and watching Kaur just bomb them into the stands, gave us a little bit of hope that the wicket was going to be pretty true, and that turned out to be the case. And it looks like a fantastic cricket wicket, and hopefully it will stay that way all four round games.”
Healy’s was the first wicket Australia lost against Pakistan, but her innings had powered them to 72 in eight overs. “It’s a bit of see ball, hit ball at the moment. I’m just really enjoying the role at the top of the order,” she said. “It’s something that I love doing back home in domestic cricket, and it’s something that I’ve really relished over the last 12 months for the green and gold.”
Healy said she was a better player now than she was a year ago, and that she had worked on opening up more scoring areas in the field. “I think I went away actually after the 50-over World Cup, there was a game against England in the round games, and we probably should have won that and we didn’t. And I went back and looked at the innings that I played and realised there was a big area with the ground that I wasn’t accessing. And if I had accessed that, potentially we would have won that round game and we would have been in the finals.
“For me it was a real eye-opener and I went away and worked really hard and developed a sweep shot and opened up a whole other area of the ground. And I’m really enjoying it at the moment. It’s such a natural hockey swing for me. It’s just allowed me to manipulate fields a little bit more.”
While some teams might struggle for a successful opening combination, Australia’s problem is one of plenty, with several of their batsmen opening for their WBBL teams. Healy said she was enjoying the freedom to go after the bowling at the top of the order, in the knowledge that there was lots to come after her.
“Every single batter in our top eight opened the batting in our WBBL team. So it’s a fairly formidable line-up. And I’m sure that the six after us [openers] are chomping at the bit to get out there and get that new ball.
“Yeah, Pez [Ellyse Perry] has a serious case of pad rash at the moment. Padded up in every single game for us and not really got a hit or come in really late. To have a world-class – I think she’s still one of the best players in the world – sort of missing out and not getting a hit, shows the depth and flexibility of our line-up. I think for every single player in our top, I guess, 10 to just put their ego aside and come out and play a role and do their job for the team is really exciting. That just shows the character of our team at the moment and I guess that’s why we’re so excited about where we’re at.”
Australia’s next Group B game is against Ireland on November 12, and Healy was confident that their good form would continue because of recent results leading into the Women’s World T20.
“I’ve been saying all along that momentum is really key in T20 cricket,” she said. “And I guess to carry on for a pretty convincing series against Pakistan in Malaysia, and then to come here and play all right against South Africa, but then play even better tonight, I think we’re building really nicely.”