The contest against Australia was going to be toughest for India and it proved just that. A comprehensive win by eight wickets led Australia into the semifinals of the 11thedition of the Womens World Cup. Aussie openers Bolton and Mooney gave a fantastic start to Australia, slamming boundaries and rotating strike in a clinical approach at County Ground, Bristol.
Modest Todal By India
Chasing a modest total of 226 set by Indians, their second highest against Australia in World Cup, the Aussies looked clinical and businesslike. Blocked the good length deliveries. Lofted the rising ones from Shikha Pandey and Jhulan Gosawmi through the infield and managing to scuttle the spinners by hitting them hard resulting in free flowing boundaries. The stark difference is evident from the fact, Indian batters managed to hit 18 boundries and two sixes whereas the Aussies scored 26 boundaries and a solitary hit over fence in the face off.
Strike Rotation – Erratic; Dot Balls Galore
Earlier in the day, put into bat Indians were slow starters with opener Mandhana getting off cheaply the fourth time in this cup. Mithali joined the party but was less penetrative through the infield. Slowing the rate on the other end was Poonam Raut who played hard for her first century in the world cup. Harman tried her long handle but failed, so did the other Indian batters. Silver lining of Indian batting was Mithalis golden first. 6,000 mark in 182 innings. A rare feat for any batter.
Mithalis Fastest 1000 of Career– Still Not Fast Enough
Mithalis superlative feat of highest run scorer tag was marred by 159 dot balls in overall Indian innings. That implies a loss of 70-80 runs, considering India had lost only one wicket at that time. Statistically, Mithali Raj of 2017 World Cup is faster aggregator of runs as compared to when she started in 2001 World Cup Campaign. Raj took 29 innings to reach her first 1,000 run mark. The second was again in 29 and her slowest was between 4,000 to 5,000 run mark where she took 32 innings. Crossing 5,000 to 6,000 was the fastest, where she took 20 innings only. This shows the landscape of women cricket changing rapidly. Perrys and Lanning epitomizes that trend, amongst themselves both have crossed 100 run partnership eighth time. Staggering feat. Perry is in devastating form and today scored her 21st fifty in last 30 innings. She remained unbeaten on 60. Meg Lanning scored 76 runs off 88 deliveries and her overall runs are at 2999.
Bowlers Off Colour
Indias most successful spinner – Ekta Bisht was welcomed by three boundaries in her opening over and 13 runs were scored by Bolton, deflating the moral of Indias leading wicket taker. The infield which stood closer to the inner circle also could not prevent quick singles thus no pressure was built in. Post the successful dismissal of the openers, most successful batters were at the helm Perry & Lanning. They made batting look easy and Indian bowling, club standard. The culprit according to former players was Indias super slow approach between 10 & 35th over. Australians took 40 deliveries less in their 100 run partnership of Perry & Lanninig as compared to Mithali and Poonam Raut.
Outright Wins for Semi Slot
Australia, England and South Africans have made it to the semifinals. Final tussle against Kiwis will decide the fate of India at Derby. An outright win for either team will set them into semi finals. Rain / wash off means Indians go through from points difference as Kiwis have already split one point in the opening encounter.
Australians, will work hard to secure top of the table to play fourth from the pool, which if India wins, will be a likely rematch of today.