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ICC Women’s World Cup | England defeat India to bag their fourth title

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ICC Women’s World Cup | England defeat India to bag their fourth title

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SportsCafe Desk


England restricted India to 219 handing them a nine-run defeat to deny them their first ever title owing to some outstanding death bowling by Anya Shrubsole and Alex Hartley. Earlier in the game, the hosts could manage to score a below-par 228, but that eventually proved to be sufficient.

Brief scores: England Women 228/7 (Natalie Sciver 51, Sarah Taylor 45; Jhulan Goswami 3/23) beat India Women 219 (Poonam Raut 86, Harmanpreet Kaur 51; Anya Shrubsole 6/46) by 36 runs.

England won the first battle of the game by winning the toss and decided to bat first anticipating the pitch to slow down in the second innings. Both the teams didn’t tinker with their winning combination of their respective semi-final clashes and came with an unchanged XI.

Indian bowlers stage a comeback after England’s strong start

Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont - the highest run-getter in the 2017 Women’s World Cup - started the proceedings for the hosts on a good note and went about their task as usual smacking Shikha Pandey for 10 runs in her very first over. The pair continued to score comfortably rotating the strike while punishing the bad deliveries by sending them to the fence. Indian skipper Mithali Raj introduced spin to counter the English openers and the move finally paid off when Rajeshwari Gaykawad bowled out Winfield to give India their first breakthrough breaking the opening 43-run stand. Poonam Yadav followed her teammates' footsteps dismissing Beaumont and English skipper Heather Knight in quick succession to shift the momentum in India’s favour. From then on, Sarah Taylor and Natalie Scriver took charge of the English innings and cautiously built the platform for a huge score as the hosts managed to take the scorecard to 103/3 at the midway mark of the innings.

Jhulan Goswami’s experience restricts England to 228

The pair of Scriver and Taylor looked well set and threw off the Indian bowling attack who were once again struggling against the English batters. The duo brought in their 50-run partnership in the 27th over and looked well set to break the shackles towards the end of the innings. However, India needed someone to step up and who better than veteran Goswami to take charge. Goswami sent Taylor and the incoming Fran Wilson packing in two successive deliveries to script India’s comeback in the game. Scriver got to her half-century but shortly fell victim to Goswami’s lethal bowling who yet again dismissed a set batter to put England under pressure. The incoming Jenny Gunn then complemented Brunt brilliantly to weave a 32-run partnership before Deepti Sharma’s accurate direct hit forced Brunt to take a long walk back to the pavilion. The flurry of runs that were expected to flow never really came as England finished their innings with 228 runs on the board.

English bowlers dominate the Indian batting

Smriti Mandhana faltered yet again at the top falling to Anya Shrubsole this time without opening her account. Mithali Raj and Punam Raut were burdened with the responsibility of getting the Indian innings back on track. The duo went about their task with caution as India finished the first powerplay with 31/1 on the board. The Indian bastwomen seemed to take control of the game but things changed in an instance when Indian skipper Raj gave away her wicket after suffering a brain fade. The wicket was followed by a spell of quiet overs with Harmanpreet Kaur and Raut trying to regroup from the loss of two important wickets. Some tight and disciplined bowling from England choked the Indian batsmen for runs who got India to the 50-run mark in the 15th over of the innings. Kaur started showing signs of her explosive self when she smashed Alex Hartley for a mammoth six in the 20th over as India paced their innings in order to stop the required run rate from getting out of hand reaching the midway mark of the innings with the scoreboard reading 92-2.

England script a fairytale comeback to bag the title

Kaur and Raut brought up their 50-run partnership in the 26th over keeping India’s hopes of creating history alive owing to which India reached the 100-run mark in the following over. The strong partnership forced Heather Knight to bring Nate Scriver and Anya Shrubsole back into the attack. The move, however, did not affect the Indian innings as Raut deservingly got to her half-century in her first ever World Cup final. Kaur followed suit and brought up her third half-century in the tournament as India looked in command at the grandest stage. However, Kaur lost her wicket shortly after her fifty trying to throw Hartley off guard by once again trying to hit her for a six. India were left needing 91 runs from 96 deliveries but the incoming Veda Krishnamurthy showed no signs of crumbling under pressure as smashed the English bowlers for 17 runs in two overs. However, a flurry of wickets that started to fall in the 43rd over thanks to some sensational bowling by Anya Shrubsole saw India falling short of history by a margin of nine runs and the hosts lifted their fourth title.

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