24th over: Australia 132-0 (Haynes 60, Healy 65) Gah! Haynes is dropped at midwicket! West Indies did not need that. Thatâ€™s bad luck for Ramharack who has bowled well. Four singles are taken and then Healy gets the reverse sweep out and nails it for four!
23rd over: Australia 124-0 (Haynes 58, Healy 59) Healy drives Dottin on the up through the covers for four! After a slightly stodgy start the keeper-bat has looked in golden touch. So too her partner, who rocks back on her toes and pulls another short ball from Dottin away to the fence. Haynes goes to 401 runs for the tournament. Another loose ball from Dottin is flicked away by Healy down to the fine leg sponge. Terrible over from Dottin – a real mixed bag of rooobish. And punished. 18 runs off it.
22nd over: Australia 106-0 (Haynes 51, Healy 50) Fifty for Rachel Haynes! Fifty for Alyssa Healy! Both openers look set and are milking the singles. West Indies glaring down the barrel of a BIG old score here unless they can start to make inroads, and quickly.
21st over: Australia 102-0 (Haynes 49, Healy 48) Dottin bangs another down. Stafanie Taylor pulls off a Gordon Banks esque diving stop at backward point. Two off the over.
20th over: Australia 100-0 (Haynes 48, Healy 47) Healy nearly plinks a full toss straight to mid-off. Luckily for her she barely gets any wood on it and it falls just short. Next ball she doesnâ€™t miss out, another full toss is smoked away for four! The hundred partnership is up for this OZ opening pair. Theyâ€™ve been imperious.
19th over: Australia 93-0 (Haynes 47, Healy 40) Dottin does not deliver. She bangs in short and Healy swats her first ball for four. A single brings Haynes on strike and Dottin decides to serve up another short ball which the batter pulls away dismissively for four more. Do not bowl there! The over is slapped for 11 runs. Problems.
18th over: Australia 82-0 (Haynes 42, Healy 35) Haynes and Healy just ticking over, a three and a single off Ramharackâ€™s over. Deandra Dottin is coming on to bowl, West Indies getting desperate for a breakthrough.
17th over: Australia 78-0 (Haynes 39, Healy 34) Matthews continues and she bowls a couple of near identical and perfect off spinners. Dipping and gripping the pitch but sliding past stumps and edge. Lovely bowling, deserved more. Two runs from the over.
16th over: Australia 76-0 (Haynes 38, Healy 33) Karishma Ramharack replaces Anisa Mohammed and just a couple of singles are taken of her off spinners.
15th over: Australia 74-0 (Haynes 37, Healy 32) Runs off Matthews too now as Healy gets a couple of paddle sweeps away – each for four. A nurdle for two make it ten off the over. Thatâ€™s drinks. A slurp and a think needed for Stafanie Taylor, Australia are in control.
14th over: Australia 64-0 (Haynes 37, Healy 22) Err, not really. Mohammed, doing a Geoff Boycott and bowling in a cap, gets taken for 13 runs from the over, a boundary each to Healy and Haynes who are comfortable enough to dance down and drive over the top.
13th over: Australia 52-0 (Haynes 29, Healy 17) Matthews is frugal again. just a single off her over. Can Mohammed replicate at her end?
12th over: Australia 51-0 (Haynes 29, Healy 16) Anisa Mohammed to twirl away and a poor first over that releases the pressure on Healy. A full toss is bunted away for four and Healy then strokes another full toss down the ground to bring up the fifty partnership. No wickets for West Indies will be a concern after winning the toss and electing to bowl.
11th over: Australia 43-0 (Haynes 28, Healy 11) Tight over from Matthews, right on the spot. Just a couple of nudged singles. The sun is out. Glorious.
10th over: Australia 41-0 (Haynes 27, Healy 10) Three singles and a wide. Alyssa Healy starting to get frustrated by her slow scoring, maybe a big shot in the offing soon…
Apologies for confusing yâ€™all by having West Indies down to bat, turns out there were some ghosts in the machine – but all sorted now.
9th over: Australia 37-0 (Haynes 26, Healy 8 ) I thought my TV was starting to go a bit Poltergeist-y but it turns out Sky are having sound problems. Panic over. Hayley Matthews is on and there is considerable spin off the surface! Tidy over, just a single from it. PowerPlay done.
8th over: Australia 36-0 (Haynes 26, Healy 7 ) Too full from Henry and Haynes leans on a classy drive that goes for four. Too short and Haynes rocks back for the same result down to fine leg. 10 runs off the over.
7th over: Australia 26-0 (Haynes 17, Healy 6) Five dots from Connell, both seamers are bowling well here, the Aussies are in a contest. The final ball is dropped short though and Haynes gets a pull shot away for three runs.
6th over: Australia 23-0 (Haynes 14, Healy 6) More cross seam from Henry who is posing problems. Chance! Healy gets a leading edge on the drive but Henry canâ€™t quite cling on in her follow through! Half chance dropped.
5th over: Australia 21-0 (Haynes 13, Healy 5) Connell drops short after the excitement of the review and Haynes pulls her away for four down to fine leg. A drive for two and a wide complete the over. Four more to go in the PowerPlay.
Flat line and a small spike when bat hit pad. Umpire Lauren Agenbag made a great decision there. Nevertheless, a fantastic delivery from Connell.
4th over: Australia 14-0 (Haynes 7, Healy 5) More bounce off a length and again Haynes is rapped on the glove! The next ball is a beauty from Henry – wobble seam and it rasps past the forward poke from Haynes. A single down the ground gets Haynes off strike. Just one from it and a decent start by the West Indies.
3rd over: Australia 13-0 (Haynes 6, Healy 5) Connell sends down a wide ball, decreed so by the pink cagouled umpire Kim Cotton. Another wide! Connell loses her footing slightly in her gather to the crease. Healy glides the final ball from outside off away for a couple.
2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Haynes 6, Healy 3) Chinelle Henryâ€™s pace from the other end. She drops short and Haynes pulls her into the leg side. The outfield is a touch slow after the rain and they scamper two. Healy gets off the mark with a dabbed single and Haynes flicks away for a couple more. The last ball of the over rears up and hits Haynes on the glove, evidence of some extra bounce in the wicket.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Haynes 4, Healy 0) The first ball from Connell is right on the spot and blocked by Haynes, who scored 83* when the sides met in the group stages. West Indies know how key her wicket is. And she proves it… pouncing on a half volley to score Australiaâ€™s first boundary. Four off the first.
Not that it counts for much, and far be it from me to start any diplomatic incidents from my sofa-bed – BUT West Indies have hands down the best anthem of the two sides, nay of the whole tournament/international cricket.
The teams head our for the anthems. It looks brighter in Wellington, Ian Smith on commentary says the sun is due to make an appearance later in the day. West Indies will be buoyed by winning the toss and being able to stick the Aussies in to bat in what will probably be the dodgiest conditions of the day.
An email! From David Stewart*
â€œI remember back when Steve Waughâ€™s side was at its peak it was held up as the most successful international sporting team in any sport in the world. Apparently no other national team at the time dominated their sport like Waughâ€™s men. Can the Aussie women now claim the same title? Is there an international sporting team who are as successful? Or is that just wishful aussie thinking?â€
I reckon if Meg Lanningâ€™s side add the ODI World Cup to their recent Ashes whitewash and their 2020 T20 World Cup victory then theyâ€™ll certainly be part of that discussion, Dave.
(*Donâ€™t think it is that one, this Dave is from Melbourne and will therefore be hoping that West Indies donâ€™t prove to be a thorn in the Aussie side…)
West Indies win the toss and will bowl first
Stafanie Taylor says it was a no brainer for her, even though their three previous wins have come after batting first. Meg Lanning says: â€œWe werenâ€™t too fussed.â€
Still no Perry so Australia are unchanged: Alyssa Healy (wk), Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland, Ash Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown.
West Indies are forced into making one change: Alyssa Mohammed comes in for Afy Fletcher, who has Covid: Deandra Dottin, Rashada Williams, Hayley Matthews, Stafanie Taylor (c), Shemaine Campbelle (wk), Chedean Nation, Anisa Mohammed, Kycia Knight, Chinelle Henry, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell.
We are set for some cricket! Each side will face 45 overs, due to the delay. The toss is coming right up. Nine overs permitted for each bowler.
Update: There will a 12:15pm local time toss for a 12:45pm start of play (in 10 minutes). Just waiting on confirmation if the amount of overs will be affected by the delayed start.
In the meantime, have a read of Megan Mauriceâ€™s interview with Alana King, on the Australian leggieâ€™s slow rise to prominence.
Iâ€™ve obviously had to wait a few more years than others, but itâ€™s meant that Iâ€™m really happy with where I am and Iâ€™m confident in where my cricket is. I think youâ€™ve got to, first and foremost, be comfortable in your own skin. And I have done that over the last few years.
There will be a further pitch inspection at midday local time
Thatâ€™s about 25 minutes from now.
Hearing itâ€™ll be at least an hour once the drizzle has definitively stopped before the game will get going. Iâ€™ll bring updates as and when they come through. If youâ€™re out there then do get in touch, itâ€™s not like it has been quiet in the cricket world of late? Save me from eating my 10th custard cream of the hour.
It isnâ€™t raining in Wellington but it is grey and misty. There are no floodlights and the light is pretty poor at the moment. It all looks a bit like the backing for a Kate Bush music video. The clouds are bust.
And then there were four. Just.
This Womenâ€™s World Cup has had it all â€“ runs, wickets, diving catches, form defying upsets and fingernail gnashing finishes. None more so than the final over, final (no) ball drama that infolded between India and South Africa that decided the semi-final line ups. Indian heartache on the field was met simultaneously by West Indian jubilation off it.
Welcome to the Basin Reserve, Wellington for this first Womenâ€™s World Cup Final between yella-hot favourites for the trophy Australia and the maroon, mercurial, sometimes-maddening-but-definitely-capable-of-giant-toppling, West Indies.
Both sides are missing key players for todayâ€™s ding-dong in Wellington. The big news is that Ellyse Perry hasnâ€™t had quite enough time to prove her fitness after suffering back spasms – Meg Lanning will be unable to call upon her talismanic all-rounder. All hasnâ€™t been calm in the West Indies camp either, with leg-spinner Afy Fletcher testing positive for the Covid and Mandy Mangru, the 19 year old all-rounder being allowed to take her place as a Covid sub.
All the recent match-ups (including a thumping 7 wicket win for OZ when the sides met earlier in the tournament) suggest it will be the Aussies who secure a place in Sundayâ€™s final. But you just never know. If the tournament has shown us anything so far it is that anything can and just well might happen. Cricket eh?
Jim here with the call, sadly not from Wellington (where thereâ€™s a bit of drizzle around) but from a front room in South London (where itâ€™s fine. Yâ€™know, fine.)
Iâ€™ll be back with news of the teams and the toss shortly, play gets underway at 11am local time/ 11pm BST and 9am AEDT.
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