ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 | Clinical Australia hand India their second successive loss

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ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 | Clinical Australia hand India their second successive loss

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SportsCafe Desk

07/12/2017

An all-around Australian side chased down the required 227 runs in 45.1 overs to win the match by 8-wickets after restricting the Indian batting lineup in spite of a strong start. Earlier in the game, Punam Raut’s knock of (106) and Mithali Raj’s (69) ensured India put up a modest score of 226 runs.

Brief Scores: India 226/7 (Punam Raut 106, Mithali Raj 69; Ellyse Perry 2/37,  Megan Schutt 2/52) lost to Australia 194/1 (Meg Lanning 76*, Ellyse Perry 60*; Poonam Yadav 1/37) by 8 wickets.

Australia won the toss and skipper Meg Lanning put the Indian team to bat first on a slowish Bristol wicket in a bid to restrict the opponents to a paltry total and then use the overcast conditions to their advantage. Moreover, both the captains were confident of the fact that their respective teams had competed well in the previous match as the teams remained unchanged for this game.

Mithali Raj and Punam Raut steady the Indian innings after a shaky start

Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana started cautiously taking their sweet time to read the pitch and the conditions. However, Mandhana seemed to struggle with her timing on a slow pitch and eventually nicked a delivery into the hands of the Australian wicketkeeper for a paltry score of 3, which continued her run-drought after two splendid innings at the start of the tournament.

Indian skipper Mithali Raj walked out on the crease next in a bid to rebuild the Indian innings and started her innings slowly as India finished with 25-1 at the end of the first powerplay. The duo of Raj and Raut continued to steady the Indian innings by dealing majorly in singles as Australia looked to tighten the noose on Indian innings. And the move seemed to work when Raj was given out LBW by the on-field umpire, but the decision was overturned after India managed a successful review. Meanwhile, Punam Raut picked up the pace of the Indian innings sweeping the Australian openers to score with ease, which took the pressure off of the Indian skipper who continued playing her innings at the same pace. 

Indian women fail to finish strong yet again

Raj became the highest run-getter in women’s ODI history when she scored her 34th run and then followed it up with a beautiful six to reach the milestone of 6000 runs in ODIs. The duo looked to switch gears as the stipulated 50-over mark wasn’t far away, but only managed to turn the singles to doubles. Though Mithali tried to pace her innings, she faltered by firing the ball right into the hands of Kristen Beams at 69 in the 41st over. 

Punam Raut, on the other hand, brought up his second ODI hundred and then looked to free her arms but things did not go her way, as she made the long walk back to the dressing room with just over three overs to go. From then on, the Indian innings started to crumble with Veda Krishnamurthy (0), Harmanpreet Kaur (23), and Jhulan Goswami (2) departing in quick succession as India finished their innings at least 15-20 runs short, with just 226 runs on the board.

Australia start their chase on a dominating note

In response, Australia struggled to get off the mark having to wait for two overs before putting their first runs on the board. However, the equation quickly changed when Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney started attacking the bowlers from both ends finishing the first power play at 34-0 on the board. Ekta Bisht faced the brunt of the Australian attack when she was smashed for 13 runs in the 11th over as Australia looked to be cruising towards the win with the duo reaching the 50-run partnership mark in just the 13th over. Poonam Yadav finally got India the breakthrough they desperately sought in the 16th over as she dismissed Bolton for 36 in the 16th over. However, the loss did not slow down the Australian innings and some poor fielding from the Indian women helped the Aussie cause. India were then handed a golden opportunity to get back into the game against the run of play when Beth Mooney tried to steal a quick single and was run out in the 23rd over.

Laning powers Australia to an 8-wicket win

Though the wicket was followed by some quiet overs, the damage had already been done with the Australians needing just 4.4 runs per to complete the win. But the low required rate did not stop Australian skipper Meg Lanning from taking the game to the Indian bowlers, as she looked in complete control and scored boundaries at will getting her half-century in just 55 deliveries. The trend continued with Laning finding a perfect partner in Ellyse Perry weaving a 100-run partnership with her compatriot to take Australia to a unassailable position in the match. Perry followed the suit and brought up her half-century in the 44th over before she scored the winning runs making India’s last group stage match against New Zealand a do or die encounter to secure a semi-finals berth. 

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