Australia women are hoping to heal the scars of their recent near-misses at global tournaments after convincingly overcoming defending champions West Indies to reach the World T20 final.
The hosts were overwhelmed in North Sound, bowled out for 71 in reply to Australia's 142 for 5, which was built on another Player of the Match performance from the prolific Alyssa Healy who had suffered concussion in the final group match against India following a collision with team-mate Megan Schutt. She showed no ill-effects, hitting 46 off 38 balls on a surface she said made strokeplay tougher than in the group stage in Guyana.
The result offered a measure of revenge on West Indies for the drubbing they handed out in the 2016 final in Kolkata where Australia were thrashed by eight wickets. That was followed by defeat in last year's World Cup semi-final against India which meant Australia did not have any global silverware in the cabinet heading into this tournament.
"I'd be lying if I sat here and said we haven't got scars after the last couple of World Cups. To be ranked No. 1 in the world and not have a trophy is sort of something we were looking to rectify," Healy said. "So for us to go out there and execute exactly what we wanted to do it's just really pleasing. It's such a proud win. And I think everyone deserves to be emotional and to be really happy about it.
"I think to come here to the West Indies, to play in front of a crowd like that that's 99 percent going for the West Indies, we sort of thrive off that, we love being the underdogs in Australia. We don't get to do it too often. For us to come here try to take a trophy off the West Indies was always going to be really difficult. So for us to go out there and play such a good performance today it was really special."
There could have been some jitters in the Australia camp after they had suffered a heavy defeat in their final group match against India even though it came with a place in the semi-finals secure. However, Healy said it was taken as a chance to ensure everyone stayed grounded in their drive to learn from previous mistakes.
"I think the last two World Cups we were a part of we took two pretty hard defeats," Healy said. "But at the same time I think we learned from those things and I think it shows the maturity of the group to be able to come back together. And I think that's why this team is so good at the moment and we're learning from those losses. And I think even losing to India in that last round game, I think we learned a lot out of that."
Having entered the World T20 on the back of successful series against New Zealand and Pakistan and now reaching the final in convincing fashion there is a feeling the team is ready to go one better than recent tournaments. Their opponents in the final will be England, which had not been confirmed when Healy spoke following victory, meaning an Ashes showdown for the title.
"I'm not too sure I can put my finger on it. But it's just, there's something special. There's a bit of an aura around this group at the moment and there's just something really special building and we've got one more huge game to go," Healy said. "And you know we'll be disappointed if we can't get over the line no matter our opponent. But this is just a really special feeling about the group at the moment and even the young girls that have come into the side and just stepped up where needed and just fit in really nicely."