India celebrate after Taniya Bhatia's stumping of Australia's Annabel Sutherland during their T20 World Cup cricket match in Sydney on Friday night. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
India celebrate after Taniya Bhatia's stumping of Australia's Annabel Sutherland during their T20 World Cup cricket match in Sydney on Friday night. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

Healy feeling confident after hitting half-ton in losing score

ALYSSA Healy insists she can take confidence from her half-century against India into the rest of the World Cup after being vindicated in her claims she remains in good form.

Healy played a lone hand in Australia's 17-run loss to India on Friday night, hitting 51 from 35 balls to put the hosts in a winning position in the T20 opener.

Seemingly a specialist for rising to the occasion, Healy had hit just 24 runs in six innings before the tournament before rising to the occasion on Friday night.

It came after she was player of the tournament in the 2018 edition, where she hit runs at will in the Caribbean at an average of above 50 and a strike rate north of 140.

And with Australia facing the prospect of five must-win games to defend their title, they will need more of the same from Healy.

"It will probably give me a little extra confidence," Healy said.

"But I have said all along I have been hitting the ball OK, just finding ways to get out.

"It was pleasing to get some runs out there. Obviously I would have loved to win the match for my side, but I guess I can take some confidence out of being able to build a block of runs for myself."

Healy was one of only two Australians to reach double figures in the doomed chase of 133, with the defending champions all out for 115.

The defending champions were destroyed by Indian spinner Poonam Yadav, who took four wickets - including Rachael Haynes and Ellyse Perry in consecutive balls with wrong-uns.

The match also arose concerns of how Australia would handle the pressure of the home World Cup, after two years of answering questions about the prospect of a sell-out final.

But Healy was insistent that hadn't an issue for the tournament favourites on opening night, in front of the biggest ever crowd for a stand-alone women's cricket match in Australia.

"(There was) no real extra pressure or expectation," Healy said.

"there were a few nerves out there and you'd be silly if you weren't nervous with 14,000 people cheering - it was a really special moment.

"There were nerves but it was also a level of excitement that it was all happening, finally here."



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