India v Australia Third ODI Report Card
Featuring shortsighted umpires
Australia won the toss and Phoebe Litchfield and Alyssa Healy went to work putting on a record opening partnership of 189 in just 28.5 overs.
Litchfield was the first to the half-century, bringing it up at a run a ball, with eight fours and one six, while Healy meandered along in the youngster’s wake, taking 59 balls to reach her half-century. (India briefly thought they had Healy caught behind with an edge that just about carried to the keeper. Sadly, the replay footage was apparently taken from an iPhone 4, and since shortsighted rule-makers have eliminated the umpire’s call option (perhaps because they were concerned the umpires were also shortsighted?), the catch was ruled not out.)
None of this concerned Litchfield. The youngster, tiring of the ‘Phoefty Litchfield’ taunts from wordplay-loving, hard-to-please fans, decided that she wouldn’t settle for fifty, as she’d done in every innings of the series so far. No, this time, she’d make a hundred.
Which she did. Sure, she lost Healy, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath as she closed in on her ton (something only nineties kids will understand). But the point is she got there. (Just as importantly, Litchfield took advantage of the opportunity to send Mooney packing when she told her Test opening partner not to review an LBW. Superb diamond duck payback. #neverforget.)
Litchfield looked absolutely delighted when she reached the century. Although, to be fair, she looks delighted pretty much all the time. Why wouldn’t she? A twenty-year-old, overflowing with talent, making her mark at the top of the order in one of the greatest cricket teams the world has ever seen.
No wonder she’s constantly beaming. So much so that wordplay-loving, somewhat-easier-to-please fans have taken to calling her joyful demeanour, ‘Resting Litch Face’.