Australia’s Ellyse Perry last played in this Women’s World Cup on February 5 against New Zealand. She missed all the Super Six matches owing to an ankle injury. As was the pre-match custom, Australia lined themselves up for the national anthem. And Perry was there, too, not just to cheer the team but to take the field for the final.
And boy, what a comeback! Australia were 209/7 when the 22-year-old walked in. Perry showed she could still pack a punch in her strokes as she pieced together an invaluable half-century stand for the eighth-wicket with skipper Jodie Fields. Do bruises and pulls matter when you are playing a World Cup final?
Her 25 off 22 balls included two fours and one six. The innings picked up a head of steam as Australia posted 259/7.
Perry wasn’t done yet. Bowling with verve, she returned figures of 10-3-19-3. The medium-pacer struck in her first over, trapping Kycia Knight in front. She had trouble starting her run-up and stopped twice. But she is trained to play through pain — lest forgotten, she is a national footballer too.
Soon she gathered himself and added two more victims, Natasha McLean and Stafanie Taylor, to the last column.
The body didn’t stop resisting; the team’s physician came scurrying to the field to check on her. But she willed herself on. Meanwhile, the crowd cheered for her every time she started her long run-up. Cameras flashed from the stands. And it all culminated into a fitting end: Another world title for the Aussies.