ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2021 Women's batting winner: Beth Mooney reaches for the stars

The Australia opener carried her bat to extend her team's record ODI streak

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Mooney was only opening the innings in this match because of an injury to Rachael Haynes. She would go on to produce one of the great knocks and allow Australia to extend their record ODI-winning streak for just a little longer.
Victory looked a long way off when Australia's top order fell to 52 for 4 against some superb Indian seam bowling, with the ball nipping around under lights. Alyssa Healy was cleaned up by a beauty from Jhulan Goswami; Meg Lanning top-edged a pull; Ellyse Perry was run out; and Ashleigh Gardner edged to slip.
However, the chase was transformed when Mooney and Tahlia McGrath added 126 for the fifth wicket. Mooney had played second fiddle in their partnership but took charge when McGrath departed. At that point Mooney was on 74 off 100 balls, and she would add 51 off the next 33. She paced things almost to perfection and did not panic when the asking rate rose above eight an over.
The final over began with 13 needed. Mooney scampered three from the first delivery courtesy an overthrow as the pressure and a damp ball got to India. The drama then largely centred on her partner, Nicola Carey, when she was caught off a waist-high full toss from what would have been the final ball of the game had it not been a no-ball. Mooney's masterclass was all the difference between victory and defeat for Australia.

Key moment

India's chance to remove Mooney came early, in the sixth over, when they were causing all sorts of problems for Australia's top order. Meghna Singh dropped in a short delivery that Mooney pulled firmly - to Poonam Yadav at midwicket, who shelled the chance. Next ball Lanning departed, and for a while India could forget the miss. But not by the end.

The numbers

223 Runs still required when Mooney was joined by McGrath with Australia four down
26 Number of ODIs Australia had won on the trot, this match included. It would end in the next match.

What they said

"It's pretty remarkable we came back from that to win… that will give us a huge amount of belief that pretty much anybody in this team can win us a game from anywhere."
- Beth Mooney
"It was pretty stressful watching, but it looked like Moons [Mooney] and Nic [Carey] had it under control. Moons going up to opening with Rach [Haynes] out showed our versatility and [it was] nice to scrape our way to victory."
- Meg Lanning

The closest contenders

Shafali Verma
96 vs England, only Test, Bristol

In India's first match in the format in more than six years, this was a superb performance on Test debut by the 17-year-old Verma, who plundered 13 fours and two sixes in an opening stand of 167 with Smriti Mandhana. She had backed herself to clear the field throughout but came up just short when she found mid-off as she tried to reach her hundred in style. Verma would follow it up with 63 in the second innings
Smriti Mandhana
127 vs India, only Test, Carrara

A wonderfully constructed, classical century from Mandhana ensured India dominated the rain-affected day-night Test from the start. Her run-a-ball fifty came within an hour's play, and then she was able to move through the gears as conditions dictated. She had some luck on the second day, caught at point off an Ellyse Perry no-ball on 80, but brought up her century with a trademark pull.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo