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Modest Alyssa Healy doffs hat to the bowlers after equalling MS Dhoni’s record


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Modest Alyssa Healy doffs hat to the bowlers after equalling MS Dhoni’s record

5:18 AM ETAndrew McGlashanDeputy editor, ESPNcricinfo CloseDeputy Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England’s batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County…

Modest Alyssa Healy doffs hat to the bowlers after equalling MS Dhoni’s record

5:18 AM ET

  • Andrew McGlashanDeputy editor, ESPNcricinfo

    Close

      Deputy Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England’s batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

Alyssa Healy was caught unaware when TV commentator Mel Jones started asking her about MS Dhoni towards the end of New Zealand’s innings in the second T20I.

Her alert catch to remove Lauren Down was her 92nd T20I wicketkeeping dismissal, making her the most prolific keeper in the format. Fittingly, too, she had equalled Dhoni’s tally with another brilliant piece of glovework to stump Amy Satterthwaite; the decision, which took nearly five minutes to make, can be debated but as with the leg-side stumping to remove Sophie Devine the day before it was a wonderful piece of wicketkeeping.

Not one to dwell over individual statistics, Healy said it was a “very nice accolade” but shifted the praise towards her bowlers. She even conceded she did not believe she had a great day with the gloves with a stumping chance going down against Katie Perkins and a few byes slipping through.

“I had no idea about it, I wondered why Mel Jones was asking me about MS Dhoni, I thought it was a very strange discussion we were about to have,” she said. “It’s obviously a very nice individual accolade but it reflects better on our bowling attack than myself.

“It just shows the strength of our bowling attack we’ve had throughout my career that they are giving these opportunities. Makes me think about all the ones I’ve missed but at the same it is nice, but it’s more credit to the bowlers.

“There’s a lot of stuff you do as a wicketkeeper, so for me I’m always really content when I come off the field and I’ve had a good day behind the stumps. Didn’t feel like I had a great day today so it’s sort of a weird feeling. I love wicketkeeping, have done it my whole life – much as I wanted to be a bowler I love my keeping – so if I come off the ground and I’ve done my job for the bowlers and team, more often than not I’m pretty happy.”

The stumping to remove Satterthwaite was also her 50th in T20Is and she has more than catches which is a testament to her alertness up to the stumps where she will spend most of an innings. While the borderline decisions have gone Australia’s way in the first two matches of this series, all Healy can do is be ready for a batter’s error and force a decision from the umpires.

— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 27, 2020

“Being a wicketkeeper you’ve sometimes got to create opportunities for your side,” she said. “It’s not something I pride myself on or anything like, it’s just how I can swing the momentum back in our favour, whether that’s driving our fielding standards or taking a half chance that could change the game.”

On the Satterthwaite dismissal specifically, Healy said: “From my point of view I could see a lot of the line so that’s probably why I seemed a bit more confident than not. I thought it was out, but I haven’t seen a replay and it taking so long it must have been incredibly tight. It’s not every day you get the benefit of the doubt going to the fielding side so I’ve got two in a row now, so hopefully it continues.”

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“It was a big play, we wanted the wicket, but either way being so tight one side would have been unhappy. If it had been not out, I think people would have been happy with that as well.”

Healy, who would have been a worthy Player of the Match, then contributed a blistering 33 off 17 balls which virtually sealed the match inside Australia’s Powerplay and secured them a tenth T20 prize in a row dating back to 2018 which has included two World Cups along the way.

“There’s probably a little bit of rust floating around with my bat in hand but in saying that when we are chasing down totals like it’s my job to take it to the opposition, see if I can get that run rate down as low as possible for our middle order to get the job done,” Healy said. “Pleasing it came off today and puts me in good stead for the one-day format.”

The final T20I takes place on Wednesday before the three-match ODI series begins on October 3.

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