The Indian women’s cricket team will never forget the date, July 23, 2017, and so the cricket fans. The Mithali Raj-led side failed to create history and lost the final match to England women’s team by 9 runs in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. The Indian eves entered the finals after 12 long years but unfortunately, they ended up being on the losing side.
India had a very poor start while chasing an easy target of 229 runs from 50 overs. Opener Smriti Mandhana yet again failed to perform in the match and went back to pavilion without even opening her account. After her dismissal, skipper Mithali Raj joined opener Punam Raut in the chase but she also lost her wicket very soon after scoring a mere 17 runs off 31 balls.
Then, the Wonder Woman of the semifinal, Harmanpreet Kaur joined the party when the Indian side was reduced to 43 for 2. The pair of Raut and Kaur added 95 runs for the 3rd wicket. Both the batswomen knocked their 10th ODI half-centuries there by stabilising the Indian innings which looked shaky in the beginning.
Unfortunately, Harmanpreet lost her wicket to Alex Hartley right after scoring her fifty. However, Punam Raut looked totally confident and she carried the episode forward with the next woman in, Veda Krishnamurthy. In the 44th over, Punam, who was playing at 86, was dismissed by pacer Anya Shrubsole which turned out to be the turning point of the game.
Followed by Raut, Sushma Verma (o), Veda Krishnamurthy (34) and Jhulan Goswami (0) lost their wickets in the next 10 runs and the entire Indian dugout was under pressure.
Then came Deepti Sharma who carried the innings single handedly till the end but she also lost her wicket in the 49th over as she went for a biggie but was caught by Sciver.
Earlier today, English skipper Heather Knight won the toss and elected to bat first. The Indian bowlers got the first breakthrough in the 12th over when spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad dismissed opener Lauren Winfield. Soon, Tammy Beaumont also returned to the pavilion after losing her wicket to spinner Poonam Yadav as Jhulan Goswami took an easy catch at deep mid-wicket. England were then at 60/2. Then came Poonam Yadav who gave the third shock to the English hosts as she dismissed captain Heather Knight (1) to reduce England to 63/3 in 16.1 overs.
After losing three wickets, Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver took the responsibility on their shoulders. The pair played a steady game against the hostile spin bowling from India. They successfully added a total of 83 runs for the 4th wicket before Jhulan Goswami removed Sarah who was looking dangerous at 45. Later, Goswami hit back and picked two wickets in two consecutive deliveries. She dismissed Natalie Sciver (51) followed by Katherine Brunt (0) to put the England women’s team under pressure.
Towards the end, Katherine Brunt had a good support from Jenny Gunn (25*) and collected crucial runs before being run out by a direct throw from Deepti Sharma at short cover. Gunn and Laura Marsh (14 not out) put up an unbeaten partnership of 32 runs to take England to a competitive total of 228 runs.
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