Aussie girls let loose in wild World Cup after-party
Australia wasted no time getting the party started after winning the T20 World Cup final in front of a packed MCG as players danced the night away with global pop sensation Katy Perry.
The Aussies played the perfect game on Sunday to beat India by 85 runs and secure their fifth T20 title. Openers Alyssa Healy (75 off 39 balls) and Beth Mooney (78 not out off 54 balls) drove the home side to 4/184 before the bowlers did the job to bowl India out for just 99.
We're not sure how much American Perry - who had been booked for the pre-match and post-match entertainment - knew about cricket before turning up for her gig in front of more than 80,000 fans but we're guessing she knew a lot more by the end of the night after getting up close and personal with captain Meg Lanning and Co.
Brilliant photos and videos emerged of the Aussies celebrating with Perry in the aftermath of their win as they danced on stage with the 35-year-old.
Injured all-rounder Ellyse Perry, who missed the final after injuring her hamstring in the group stages, was getting into the spirit while Molly Strano put in her nomination for best-on-ground in the after-party stakes with some slick dance moves.
Lanning even scored herself a hug from Perry while the girls in gold also belted out her hit song Firework on stage alongside the music icon.
Cricinfo's Daniel Brettig said on Twitter: "These shots of the victorious Aust team with Katy Perry will go round the world. And probably get Molly Strano a reality TV gig."
WORLD IN AWE OF HEALY'S MASTERCLASS
Fearless Australian opener Healy certainly earned a beer for her matchwinning contribution, describing her final experience as a dream that will never be topped.
The wicketkeeper was all smiles walking out on the MCG in front of the biggest women's cricket crowd in history.
That grin never disappeared during the decider, as she blasted 75 from 39 balls to write herself into Australian cricket folklore. On a landmark evening for women's sport, fearless Healy's star shone bright as her destructive batting shell-shocked India.
Five years after her husband, Australian men's fast bowler Mitchell Starc, set Australia on the path to victory in the 2015 one-day World Cup final against New Zealand by bowling Brendon McCullum in the first over at the MCG, Healy followed suit by setting the tone, hitting her first ball for four and never slowing down.
She scored the fastest ever half-century in a men's or women's ICC tournament final, reaching 50 off just 30 balls, as she plundered seven fours and five sixes.
The 29-year-old said she felt calm heading out to bat in front of 86,174 fans.
"I don't think anything's ever going to top that," she said. "For me, I never thought I would get the opportunity to do something as cool as what we did today and play in front of almost 90,000 people in a home World Cup final.
"It's a dream come true for me.
"I enjoyed every single minute. We just went out there and enjoyed the moment and we enjoy what we're able to create.
"Cricket's done some really amazing things in this country for female athletes and tonight was really just a celebration of that.
"Oddly the group was really calm … I've never seen the group quite that calm and it was the same in the semi-final."
She entered the World Cup seriously out of form, scoring 15 runs at just three across five games against England and India.
But she never got down on herself, neither did the team, and knew she would eventually turn it around.
"I was getting the same feedback from everyone … that's my role in the side (is to play aggressive)," Healy said.
"I've had an unbelievable ride over the last two years with not a lot of low scores so for me it (a form slump) was always bound to happen."
Healy says she will claim bragging rights on her husband Starc, who flew back from South Africa to watch the final.
Ex-Indian star Aakash Chopra and West Indian batsman Shai Hope were among those to praise Healy for her sensational knock.
What an innings that was! A defining knock and a real statement. Well played Alyssa Healy. #ICCWomensT20WorldCup2020— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) March 8, 2020
What a time this family has at MCG World Cup finals.— Peter Lalor (@plalor) March 8, 2020
Mitch knocking over Baz first over against NZ 2015
Alyssa going insane tonight.
What a knock! Take a bow Alyssa Healy. That was something special— Roger Oldridge (@roger_oldridge) March 8, 2020