Even though the stats favour England women, India women can take heart from the fact that they have beaten England before in the tournament. In fact, India’s marauding run in the tournament has seen them beat all the three countries who have won the World Cup – Australia (6), England (3) and New Zealand (1).
Here is a low down of how the India women’s team made it to their second-ever final of the ICC Women’s Cup:
Beat England Women by 35 runs
India women opened their account in an imposing fashion with World Cup debutant – opener Smriti Mandhana – clobbering her way to 90 off 72 deliveries with other opener Punam Raut playing second fiddle with 84 off 134 deliveries. The duo combined for a 144 run-stand for the opening wicket before skipper Mithali Raj helped consolidate the start with a 73-ball 71. Her deputy, Harmanpreet Kaur chipped in with 22 off 24 as India women went on to post a solid 281 for 3 in their 50 overs.
In defence, pacer Shikha Pandey struck twice early in her spell to push England woman on the backfoot before spinners strangled the run-rate in the middle overs. Offspinner Deepti Sharma claimed 3 for 47 as the team affected four run-outs in the match. Despite Fran Wilson’s 81 and skipper Heather Knight’s 46, England were all out for 246, handing India a comfortable 35-run victory.
Beat West Indies Women by 7 wickets
In their second game, India bowled first and restricted West Indies to 183 for 8, owing largely to a disciplined bowling performance. Left-arm orthodox Ekta Bisht was the stand-out performer with the ball claiming figures of 10-2-23-1. Harmanpreet, Poonam Yadav and Deepti claimed two wickets each. In reply, opener Mandhana made short work of the target with 106 off 108 deliveries as India women cantered home with 45 balls remaining. Mandhana shared a 108-run stand with skipper Mithali, who made 46.
Beat Pakistan Women by 95 runs
For the first time in the tournament, Indian batswomen struggled, but wicketkeeper-batswoman Sushma Verma’s counter-attacking 33 off 35 deliveries lower down the order and Raut’s 47 off 72 helped India post 169 for 9 against Pakistan. The Indian bowlers though steam-rolled Pakistan batswomen and led by a sensational 5 for 18 by left-arm orthodox Bisht, India registered a thumping 95-run victory.
Beat Sri Lanka Women by 16 runs
India women went on to register their fourth successive win with Deepti putting in an all-round effort. She top-scored with the bat scoring 78 off 110 deliveries before chipping in with 1 for 46 in his 10 overs. Batting first and after failures from both the openers, Deepti, along with skipper Mithali (53), laid a good foundation for Harmanpreet (20 off 22) and Veda Krishnamurthy (29 off 33) as India went on to post a competitive 232 for 8.
In defence, Sri Lanka women put in a spirited performance lead by skipper Dilani Manodara (61 off 75). Legspinner Poonam Yadav claimed 2 for 23 in her ten overs while former skipper and leader of the bowling attack Jhulan Goswami returned 2 for 26 from her eight.
Lost to South Africa Women by 115 runs
India tasted defeat for the first time when they went up against the formidable South African side. After opting to bowl first, Indian bowlers failed to stop opener Lizelle Lee who scored a blistering 92 off 65 deliveries. Buoyed by skipper Dane van Niekerk’s 57 and breezy knocks from Trisha Chetty (24), Mignon du Preez (22) and Chiloe Tryon (24), South Africa amassed 273 for 9.
In reply, India lost Mandhana to World No 1 bowler in Women’s ODIs – Marizanne Kapp before leggie Van Niekerk ran through the Indian middle order. The South African skipper removed her counterpart, Mithali for a first-ball duck – her first duck in five years – and in the same over, had deputy Harmanpreet walking back for a second-ball duck. India slumped to 65 for 7 from 46 for 1. Deepti resisted with a 111-ball 60 and Goswami delayed the inevitable with an unbeaten 43.
Lost to Australia Women by 8 wickets
India’s chance of a semi-final spot were dented when they crashed to their second consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of favourites Australia. Raut top-scored with 106 off 136 deliveries and she combined with Mithali (69 off 114 deliveries) for a 156-run stand for the second wicket. In the process, Mithali surpassed Charlotte Edwards as the all-time leading run-getter in Women’s ODIs. However, the partnership consumed 36.1 overs and the middle-order failed to up the ante. India finished with 226 for 7 and Australia made short work of the target with openers Nicole Bolton (36) and Beth Mooney (45) handing Australia a fine start. World No. 1 batswoman in ODIs, Meg Lanning then anchored the chase (46* off 48) as Australia reached the target with eight wickets in hand and 29 balls remaining.
Beat New Zealand Women by 186 runs
Mithali more than made up for her slow batting against Australia and riding on her sixth ODI century (109 off 123), India stormed in to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup. Despite losing openers early, India found themselves in a good position courtesy Mithali’s century partnerships with Hamanpreet (60 off 90) and Krishnamurthy (70 off 45) as they went on to post 265 for 7.
In defence, India were led by Rajeshwari Gayakwad who claimed career-best 5 for 15 in her first game of the tournament. The left-arm spinner was brought in to the XI in place of Bisht. Deepti claimed 2 for 26 while Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Yadav chipped in with one wicket each. New Zealand were bundled out for 79.
Semi-Final: Beat Australia Women by 36 runs
India avenged their league stage defeat at the hands of Australia with a memorable win to march in to their second final of the event. Batting first, Indians openers failed to click before Mithali provided some stability with 36 off 61. However, it was Harmanpreet’s stunning 171* off 115 balls that took Australia by surprise. The Indian vice-captain unleashed herself on her opponents en route to clobbering 20 fours and seven sixes, helping India to an imposing 281 for 4.
Australia were dented early in their chase with Pandey removing Beth Mooney for one and Goswami producing an absolute ripper to remove Lanning for a duck. Deepti’s scalp of Nicole Bolton for 14 meant Australia were reeling at 21 for 3. Ellyse Perry (38) and Elyse Villani (75) then rebuilt the Australian innings with a 105-run stand for the fourth wicket before Alex Blackwell kept her team in the hunt with a valiant 90 off 56 deliveries. India though managed pick up wickets at regular intervals and kept Australia to 245.
Source : timesofindia