India Women ought to have put up at least a score of 250 plus, but a slow inning from the top players in the line-up slogged the team. The target of 227 was evidently not enough to resist Australia from entering the semi-finals. India lost the match to Australia by 8 wickets with 29 balls remaining. It was not a knock out stage, but India has only a single match ahead to keep on the campaign alive. In the next fixture, India will faceoff New Zealand to enter semi-final stage.
Australia sent in India to bat first. However, the top team had to deal with its bowling woes. The only success it had was the wicket of Smriti Mandhana in the fourth over. Opener Punam Raut and captain Mithali Raj forged a 157-run partnership that went on to an extraordinary 40th over. India was 2 for 166 when Mithali Raj returned from the crease. The skipper carefully guarded her wicket becoming the leading scorer in Women ODI. She scored 69 off 114 balls. In the stretch, she struck only four fours and a six. The Indian Women captain became the first women cricketer to cross 6000-mark in ODI.
Punam Raut hammered 106 off 136 with 11 fours in the inning. Raut and Raj kept on a slow pace of score. India hardly had more than 4 runs an over in the stretch. Raut was in the crease until the 47th over, after which Australian bowler breakthrough the lineup. Veda Krishnamurthy was removed in the next ball. Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored 23 off 22 was down six balls after Veda. Jhulan Goswami was removed in the pre-ultimate over, while Sushma Verma returned in the last over.
Australia chased the target with brisk innings. However, India bowlers came heavy on the openers as the players took time to break in. In the first 10 overs, Aussie openers Beth Mooney and Nicole Bolton could score only 34. However, the players finally propelled the momentum with boundaries. The opening partnership went on to 16th overs. It was Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry who knocked the winning runs both finishing with half centuries. Lanning scored 76 off 88, while Perry knocked 60 off 67. The players remained unbeaten in the inning. Australia crushed into the semi-finals over India.
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