Records have been smashed on a historic day for women’s sport as Australia dominated India to win a fifth Twenty20 World Cup title.
Around 86,174 cricket fans packed the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Sunday’s final- the biggest ever attendance for a women’s sporting match in Australia and just 5000 short of the world record.
The near-capacity crowd were treated to an epic pre-match concert by US superstar Katy Perry in her first public performance since announcing earlier in the week she was pregnant with her first child.
On a day that coincided with International Women’s Day celebrations, Australia elected to bat first and knocked up a massive total of 184 after openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney smashed record-breaking scores.
Despite beating Australia early on in the tournament, the mammoth run chase proved too overwhelming for a shell-shocked India in their first T20 final after losing three early wickets.
Australia were just as dominating with the ball and in the field as they were at the crease to bowl India out and win convincingly by 85 runs.
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Megan Schutt was the main destroyer for Australia with four wickets and was well supported by spin bowler Jess Jonassen, who bagged three.
Earlier on, Australian opener Alyssa Healy took just 30 balls to smash a half century- the fastest 50 in an ICC 20 or 50-over final for both women and men- leaving commentators and legends of the game stunned.
With husband Mitchell Starc in the stands after returning from the Australian men’s tour of South Africa, Healy went to score 75 from 39 balls- the highest individual score in a Women’s World Cup T20 final.
The record-breaking knock included seven fours and five sixes.
‘It was unbelievable,’ Healy told Channel Nine afterwards.
‘I never thought I would experience something like that in my career.
‘When so many Australians have come out to support us today we might as well put on a good show for them.’
Her record was short-lived after her opening partner Beth Mooney scored an unbeaten 78.
Alyssa Healy (pictured) put on a stunning knock of 75 of 39 balls in front of a packed MCG
Katy Perry wowed the crowd at the pre-match concert, days after confirming her pregnancy
Almost 90,000 fans packed the MCG for the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup final on Sunday
Mooney also broke the record for the most runs scored by an player at a Women’s T20 World Cup, beating Australian captain’s Meg Lanning’s mark of 257 set in 2014.
She and Healy shared a 114-run opening partnership.
Healy was later awarded player of the match while Mooney was awarded player of the tournament.
India were set a total of 184, the second-highest successful chase in WT20 history and were in big trouble after losing three early wickets.
They continued to crumble after Taniya Bhatia retired hurt after a concussion scare and were eventually bowled out for 99.
After a stunning innings at the crease, the Australians grabbed two early wickets to have India in big trouble early on
Earlier on, Perry wowed the MCG crowd in her first performance since confirming earlier in the week she was six months pregnant with her first child with fiance Orlando Bloom.
Showing off her blossoming baby bump, the American Idol judge performed her massive hits Roar and Firework while dancing in heels.
Fans took to social media to commend Perry’s stunning performance.
‘She absolutely KILLED it with her amazing vocals, and stage presence, while being six months pregnant!,’ one tweeted.
Another wrote: ‘Slayedddd while being pregnant! Who’s doing it like ha? You truly snapped Queen!’
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