“The belief in the dressing room is probably at an unprecedented level, to be honest, just because we seem to find a way to win and win ugly,” Mooney said.
“It’s not always pretty, which perhaps in the past – probably five or six years ago – we were looking for that perfect game and trying to make it look as good as it could. We’ve sort of got an understanding now that it can look a bit ugly at times.
“Tonight wasn’t the ugliest we’ve played, but there are certainly a few things we can touch up on before tomorrow.”
On this occasion, Australia stumbled to 28 for 2 in pursuit of 145 for a place in the gold-medal match-up with India. But a 56-run partnership between Mooney and McGrath steadied the innings and kept Australia on top of the required run rate at most times.
“From my point of view, I was pretty disappointed to get out at the time I did just because the game was sort of in our hands a bit,” said Mooney. “I thought Rachael and I could get us home and hosed from that position, so that was disappointing, and probably something for me to reflect on.
“But I think at the same time, Ash and Grace showed their maturity again and got us over the line. We can’t discount New Zealand. They’re a great side and really put us onto the pump tonight, as they have done over the last few years.”
“Ash is showing a different side of her game, which is really exciting for this group and for Ash herself. I think she’s absolutely going to be a player for our team for a long period of time that can win games for us off her own bat,” Mooney reflected.
“I’m really excited to see that, and obviously the evolution of Grace has been pretty special. Seeing her back in the green and gold and being able to contribute like she has, and those guys will play for a long time, so for me, it’s always going to be nervous on the sideline until we get the winning runs, but today, they made it look a bit easier than it probably was.”
“Semi-finals are tough,” Mooney added. “We do feel for England, it looked like a pretty tough game. But we also know the threat that India pose and we certainly didn’t take New Zealand lightly tonight either.
“They really challenged us at times and I’m sure India will bring a similar game plan tomorrow against us, so hopefully we’re ready for that and can put on a show for it.”
“I always believe, and that’s one thing about this team is that we always fight and, especially against Australia, we fight right to the end,” Bates said just 12 hours before the start of their next game. “We know that we’ve got to give it our best and it’s disappointing, but I’m just really proud of the game that we put up after a really disappointing effort against England.
“It just gives us confidence going into tomorrow, but tonight there’s going to be moments that are going to wake us up because there are some chances that we didn’t quite take. That’s cricket and you’ve got to be at your best against Australia.
“It is quick, but you only get one chance to win a Commonwealth Games medal, so there’s going to be no problems for motivation. We can reflect on that [game against Australia] after the tournament. Right now it’s just about getting ourselves ready for tomorrow.”
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo