Jess on top of the world: ‘I could see the joy in her eyes’
CRICKET: Ray Jonassen could see the joy in the eyes of his daughter Jess after her leading role in the Australian women’s T20 World Cup victory on Sunday night.
The proud Rockhampton dad and his wife Jayne were at the MCG, among the 86,174 fans who set a new Australian record for attendance at a women’s sporting event.
Jess’s sister Emma and her husband Richie and their two children Richard and Ella were also there for the big game, while her other sister Laura sat glued to the broadcast at home in Rockhampton.
The Jonassens were thrilled with what they saw as they Aussies cruised to an 85-run victory to claim their fifth T20 title.
All-rounder Jess did not have to bat after openers Alyssa Healy (75) and Beth Mooney (78) laid the foundation for the team’s impressive tally of 4/184.
But she was integral with the ball, taking two wickets in the power play and finishing with 3-20 from her four overs.
She also took a spectacular catch to dismiss Veda Krishnamurthy as the visitors were bowled out for 99 in the 19th over.
Ray said it was wonderful to witness such a complete performance from the Australians.
“We certainly didn’t expect them to dominate the way they did yesterday,” he said.
“I think they absorbed and embraced the occasion better than the Indian women.
“I think the thing that impressed everybody was after the Australians lost their first game, and I think there was a lot of pressure there, they regrouped and they gradually built form until yesterday when they were absolutely dynamic.”
Jess described the win as “the icing on the cake” in a post-match interview.
“We’ve had a massive 12 months and there’s been a real big build-up to this day.
“We obviously didn’t have the smoothest of tournaments but we got here, gave ourselves a chance and probably left one of our best games to today.”
Ray said after partying with pop star Katy Perry on stage, the jubilant Australians continued their celebrations in the dressing rooms with family, sponsors and supporters.
“Jess was very happy to have us down there.
“I could see the joy in her eyes and we had a big cuddle.
“She was a little bit surprised by the ease of the win but on the other hand not surprised because she knew they had solid plans and if they executed those well they were a chance to get the win.
“She would have taken a win by one run but when they seemed to be able to put pressure on and it worked she was happy about that.
“It means a lot to Jess to just play, winning is a bonus.
“I’m happy when she’s playing and playing well.
“It’s great that the team is getting the rewards for the effort they put in.”
Ray said the Australian teammates would have little time to savour their victory. Next weekend they take off for a tour of South Africa.