India Thrash Australia To Reach Women’s World Cup Final:- India thrash Australia by 36 runs in the second semi-final in Derby in Women’s World Cup final and have set their date with hosts England at the Lord’s in London, that is scheduled for Sunday.
All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur’s scintillating 115-ball unbeaten 171 helped India thrash the opponent team. Kaur after electing to bat striked her third One-day International ton. She hit 20 fours and seven massive sixes, and set a daunting 282-run target.
The Southern stars, in reply against some disciplined bowling effort from the Indians, could only muster 245. Having reached the summit-clash in 2005 where they lost to Australia at Centurion, this will be India’s second World Cup final. As the Southern Stars failed to get going in the initial stages of their chase, India put on a collective effort on the field. For almost nothing on the board, they lost the top order comprising the in-form trio of Nicole Bolton (14), Beth Mooney (1) and skipper Meg Lanning (0).
Thereafter, Elyse Villani (75) and Ellyse Perry (38) joined forces to 105-run fourth wicket stand that threatened to take the match away from the grasps of the Indians. The tide in favor of Indians with the key wicket of Villani was turned once again by left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Gayakwad is the architect behind the 186-run win in the previous match against New Zealand. It was one-way traffic for the women-in-blue, thereafter, as at regular intervals the wickets kept rolling and none of the lower order Aussie bats women, barring Alex Blackwell (90 from 56, 104, 3*6) managed to intimidate the Indians.
With some lusty blows enroute her 24th ODI half-century, Blackwell frustrated the Indians and added 76 runs for the final wicket. Her half century came off 36 balls and together with the No.11-batswoman Kirsten Beams (11 not out). There were a few nail-biting moments towards the later part of the innings, with Blackwell taking the Indians to the cleaners, but Deepti kept her calm, cleaning Blackwell’s middle stump and seal India’s place in the final.
Left-arm spinner Deepti Sharma for India,took three wickets, while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami and her partner Shikha Pandey took two wickets apiece. The one wicket apiece was chipped in with the spin duo of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav.
After India lost both the openers cheaply inside the first 10 overs, Kaur liberated the team with two crucial partnerships - 66 runs with skipper Mithali Raj (36 from 61 balls, 2*4) for the third wicket and then a 137-run fourth wicket stand with Deepti Sharma (25 from 35, 1*4).
Kaur was at her attacking best at 101/3. Deepti played the perfect second fiddle with her waiting game. Such was the intensity of her attack, that Kaur got to her third ODI hundred in just 90 balls before launching most of the Aussie bowlers out of the park.
Lannings turned to her opening bowler Ashleigh Gardner, unable to stop her carnage, but it only resulted in Kaur milking the pacer for 23 runs, which included two consecutive sixes and as many boundaries in an over. Veda Krishnamurthy (16 from 10, 2*4) was brought in after the fall of Deepti, who along with Kaur added a 19-ball unbeaten stand of 43 runs, as India found themselves in a comfortable position towards the end of their innings.
India will now face the English eves at The Lord’s on Sunday, in chase of their maiden World Cup triumph.
Brief Scores: Indian women 281/4 (Harmanpreet Kaur 171 not out, Mithali Raj 36, Deepti Sharma 25, Ashleigh Gardner 1/43) beat Australia women 245 (Alex Blackwell 90, Elyse Villani 75, Ellyse Perry 38, Deepti Sharma 3/59, Jhulan Goswami 2/35, Shikha Pandey 2/17) by 36 runs.
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