England can learn from ‘ruthless’ World Cup champions Australia says captain Heather Knight | Cricket News

England captain Heather Knight and Australia skipper Meg Lanning laud World Cup final match-winner Alyssa Healy after she scores 170 from 138 balls; Knight “super proud” of England’s revival in the tournament after they recovered from losing first three games to make the final

Last Updated: 03/04/22 11:08am


Highlights of Australia's comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women's World Cup

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Highlights of Australia’s comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women’s World Cup

Highlights of Australia’s comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women’s World Cup

Captain Heather Knight said England must learn from “ruthless” World Cup champions Australia as she and Southern Stars skipper Meg Lanning hailed Alyssa Healy’s “remarkable” and “ridiculous” century during Sunday’s final in Christchurch.

Healy plundered 170 from 138 balls – the highest score in either a men’s or women’s World Cup final – and shared partnerships in excess of 150 with Rachael Haynes and Beth Mooney as Australia posted a match-winning 356-5, with 120 runs coming from the final 10 overs.

Australia earned a record-extending seventh World Cup title as defending champions England were dismissed for 285 in reply, despite Nat Sciver hitting an unbeaten 148 from 121 deliveries.

Australia celebrated winning the Women's World Cup as they lifted the trophy at Hagley Oval ion Christchurch

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Australia celebrated winning the Women’s World Cup as they lifted the trophy at Hagley Oval ion Christchurch

Australia celebrated winning the Women’s World Cup as they lifted the trophy at Hagley Oval ion Christchurch

Knight said: “The runs on the board meant we had to take a few more risks and unfortunately we couldn’t have that big partnership.

“That is something Australia do outstandingly and something we can learn from. When they are in they are ruthless and take the game away from the opposition. We need to be ruthless. We haven’t done too well in this competition with those super partnerships that define a game.”

‘Healy’s innings one of best I’ve seen – it was incredible’

Knight added: “Credit to Australia – to bring that sort of performance in a World Cup final was outstanding. Alyssa’s innings was remarkable. I think it was one of the best innings I have seen live.

Australia opener Alyssa Healy smashed 170 from 138 balls, with 26 fours

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Australia opener Alyssa Healy smashed 170 from 138 balls, with 26 fours

Australia opener Alyssa Healy smashed 170 from 138 balls, with 26 fours

“We didn’t quite find an answer. It was an amazing wicket and quite hard to defend. I think if we had kept them just above 300 we were in with a good chance of chasing that down.

“It was an absolutely unbelievable innings from Nat [Sciver]. The skill against spin, against seam, scoring all around the ground.

“It was unfortunate we couldn’t have someone stay with her as she didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.”

Lanning said: “[Alyssa’s innings] was incredible. We are probably not surprised she has done it in a World Cup final, to be fair. She has done it before and is able to come out and play so well.

“Some of those shots were ridiculous and to put the bowlers under pressure at the backend was really important. She set the base really nicely, building a platform to explode at the backend.”

England skipper Heather Knight says her side 'could not find an answer' to Alyssa Healy's dominance

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England skipper Heather Knight says her side ‘could not find an answer’ to Alyssa Healy’s dominance

England skipper Heather Knight says her side ‘could not find an answer’ to Alyssa Healy’s dominance

Knight ‘super proud’ of England’s turnaround

Knight’s team lost their first three games of the tournament and were staring at an early elimination only to then win five matches in a row and move one victory away from becoming the first England side, male or female, to successfully defend the 50-over World Cup.

That dream was dashed by a dominant Australia in the final but Knight took great pride in the revival and is now looking forward to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in this summer, at which women’s T20 cricket will be played for the first time.

England's Nat Sciver scored a 98-ball century in a losing cause for England

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England’s Nat Sciver scored a 98-ball century in a losing cause for England

England’s Nat Sciver scored a 98-ball century in a losing cause for England

Knight said: “I am super proud of the group for how we have managed to turn things around – the players and the staff as well.

“The fact that we have shown that character and resilience and were in with a shot of winning the World Cup. One more win was just one too many for us.

“We have got a big year. The Commonwealth Games at home and the T20 World Cup [in South Africa in early 2023].

“Some of the players have been outstanding in this tournament. Special mention to Sophie Ecclestone, the leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets.

“Seeing those young players perform gives me real pleasure and they can certainly be proud.

“We are very disappointed with the final and will look back and reflect on where we need to go as a team but we can be very proud of the grit and determination.”

Lanning cherishes Australia’s success

Australia now hold the Women’s Ashes, T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup.

Lanning, whose side won each of their nine games, added: “I think we have been extremely consistent over a long period of time.

“To come out and perform so well over the whole tournament is pretty amazing and I think we deserved the victory.

Sciver is an incredible player and played it really smart – it was a really special innings which on any other day would have been a match-winning one. We knew England would come hard at us. We expected a contest and we certainly got that.

Meg Lanning on Nat Sciver (pictured)

“We knew we had to have a number of people contributing and it has been so great to see the team evolve.

“Young players have come in and performed really well, making an impact straightaway. That has been great to push the more experienced players to get better.

“We haven’t looked too far ahead. It’s important we look back at this period and how successful it has been as we have put a lot of hard work into it. It hasn’t been easy, there have been ups and downs.”


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