Women’s World Cup: Australia deserved the win tonight due to consistency, says Meg Lanning

Christchurch, April 3 (IANS) Australia skipper Meg Lanning believed her team deserved the 71-run win in the final against England to win the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup due to the consistency shown over a long period of time.

In the tournament, Australia were unbeaten in the league stage and extended their winning streak to the semi-final as well as the final to pocket their seventh ODI World Cup title.

“We have been extremely consistent over a long period of time and to come out and perform so well throughout the tournament. I think we deserve the win tonight. We knew we had to have a number of people contributing which we had throughout the tournament.”

“We had some young players come in and make an impact straightaway which is great for the team and great for the more experienced players to keep pushing them to get better. Off the field we had great support from the coaching staff and support staff to get us to this point,” said Lanning after the match.

In the final at Hagley Oval, Australia’s win was set up by wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy’s whirlwind knock of 170 off 138 balls as they posted a gigantic score of 356/5 after pushed into batting first.

“It was incredible (Healy’s knock), (especially) to do it in a World Cup final. Some of those shots she was playing were ridiculous and I think she set the base really nicely and it is something we have spoken about a lot as a batting group, being patient upfront and building the platform to explode at the backend and that is what happened today,” observed Lanning.

Lanning was quick to praise England vice-captain Nat Sciver for her unbeaten 148 keeping the defending champions in the hunt. “She (Nat Sciver) is an incredible player and played a really special innings, on any other day it would potentially be a match-winning one. We knew England would come hard at us and we expected a contest and we certainly got that.”

Lanning, who marked her 100th ODI appearance during Sunday’s final, appreciated leg-spinner Alana King and teenage pacer Darcie Brown stepping up in the absence of players like tearaway pacer Tayla Vlaeminck, leg-spinner Georgia Wareham and left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux in the mega event.

“There’s some good depth in our squad. Tay (Vlaeminck), Wolf (Wareham) and Soph (Molineux), big shoutout to you guys. We have seen Alana King and Darcie Brown come in and dominate and lift the team, so it is important not to rely on one or two players. Injuries are unfortunately part of the sport and we’ve been able to cover that this time around.”

Lanning expressed gratitude towards England, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and New Zealand for hosting the tournament successfully as well as to her own side as well as support staff members.

“Thank you to Heather and England for the contest today, thanks to everyone at the ICC, New Zealand Cricket for getting this tournament up, it’s been an incredible effort, lots of work going on behind the scenes. I want to thank our coaches and support staff who put so much time and effort behind the scenes to get us up and about to be able to play cricket. Well done to the team and we will certainly enjoy this one.”

Lanning signed off by saying that Australia will celebrate the victory and sink in the feeling of being 50-over World Cup winners for the first time since 2013.

“We will celebrate this one first, important to make sure to look back at this period and see how successful it’s been because there’s been a lot of hard work that has gone into it and hasn’t been easy. There’s been ups and downs through the whole thing, nice to be able to get to the end of this nice little block and be able to say we are World Cup champions.”

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