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ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023 Final: Beth Mooney's 74* Helps Australia Post 156-6 Against South Africa

After Australia lost dependable opener Alyssa Healy for 18, Mooney, who had struck 54 against India in the semifinal against India, did the rebuilding work with Ashleigh Gardner (29).

Beth Mooney scored an unbeaten 53-ball 79 comprising 9 fours and a six.
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Beth Mooney struck a fine unbeaten half-century to guide five-time champions and title holders Australia to 156 for 6 against hosts South Africa in the final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Cape Town on Sunday. (More Cricket News)

Mooney remained unbeaten on 74 off 53 balls during which she struck nine boundaries and one hit over the fence.

Electing to bat, Australia lost Alyssa Healy (18) early, caught at covers by Nadine De Klerk off the bowling of Marizanne Kapp (2/35) in the fifth over.

Then Ashleigh Gardner (29 off 21) joined hands with Mooney and the pair's 46 runs for the second wicket stabilised the innings before the former was brilliantly caught at long-off by South Africa skipper Sune Luus off the bowling of left-arm spinner Chloe-Lesleigh Tryon.

But Mooney went about her business in blistering fashion and dispatched the bad deliveries to the fence to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Grace Harris tried to up the scoring rate but was cleaned up by left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba in the 14th over as the batter went for a wild heave over the square-leg boundary.

Next in, skipper Meg Lanning showed intent from the word go, scoring her first runs from a boundary through the point region before being brilliantly caught by Tyron at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Kapp.

Mooney, however, remained unperturbed as she kept consolidating the Australia innings, picking up boundaries with ease.

Even as Mooney held one end up, wickets kept tumbling at the other side as Australia tried to find boundaries towards the end of the innings.

South Africa brilliantly pulled things back towards the end of the innings by picking up wickets at regular intervals with Mooney remaining stranded at the other end.

South African pacer Shabnim Ismail (2/26) had a big role to play in restricting Australia to an achievable total, claiming the wickets of Ellyse Perry and Georgia Wareham off consecutive balls. She was on a rare hat-trick in the final over, but Tahlia McGrath denied Ismail the feat, managing a single off the last delivery of the innings.

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