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ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, India vs Australia: 5 things that went wrong for the defending champions

India rode on a whirlwind knock of 171* off 115 deliveries from Harmanpreet Kaur to post a total of 281
India rode on a whirlwind knock of 171* off 115 deliveries from Harmanpreet Kaur to post a total of 281
Prasenjit Dey

The Indian eves avenged their group stage defeat with a thrilling victory over the defending champions, Australia, by 36 runs in the semi-final at Derby on Thursday. The match was reduced to 42 overs a side after rain delayed the start. Batting first, India rode on a whirlwind knock of 171* off 115 deliveries from Harmanpreet Kaur to post a total of 281/4 in their stipulated 42 overs of the innings.

Chasing the total, Australia got off to a shaky start, losing their top three batters in Beth Mooney (1), Nicole Bolton (14) and Meg Lanning (0) for just 21 runs. Ellyse Perry and Elyse Villani tried their best to get Australia back into the game with a 105 run partnership.

However, that came to an end with the dismissal of Villani after a superb knock of 75 runs off just 58 deliveries. Perry (38) followed soon after and the rest of the batters fell like a pack of cards as Australia were reduced to 169/9. However, Alex Blackwell’s blitzkrieg raised their hopes for a while.

She kept hammering the Indian bowlers as she made her way to 90 (56). However, Deepti Sharma struck the last nail in the coffin cleaning her up with a superb delivery. Australia thus lost the match by 35 runs as India progressed into the finals.

Let us now have a look at the five of those things that went wrong for Australia.


#1) Unable to stop the rampaging Harmanpreet Kaur

Australia were once again in the driver’s seat having reduced India to 101/3 inside 25 overs. Moreover, both of their in-form batters in Mithali Raj and Punam Raut were sent back to the pavilion.

However, they were hardly aware of what was about to start in a short while. Kaur changed gears after Raj departed and wreaked havoc.

She brought up her 50 in 64 deliveries with a boundary off Kristen Beams's bowling. She then brought up her century in 90 deliveries which meant she had scored her last 50 runs in just 26 deliveries.

And later, she went on to score 71 runs in the next 25 deliveries to push her individual total to a mammoth 171* off 115 deliveries. Moreover, she had also helped India’s total to an impressive 281/4. It was Kaur’s innings that made the difference between an Australia victory and defeat.

This knock will be remembered as one of the best knocks in World Cup history for a long long time.

#2) Failed to put pressure on Deepti Sharma

Deepti kept rotating the strike well as Kaur went about her business at the other end
Deepti kept rotating the strike well as Kaur went about her business at the other end

Although, Deepti Sharma got a couple of fifties to her name in this World Cup, both of those took a fair amount of deliveries to come. Sharma’s promotion ahead of Krishnamurthy might have proved to be troublesome for India. However, Australia failed to capitalise on her weakness as she built a massive partnership with Kaur.

Deepti kept rotating the strike well as Kaur went about her business at the other end. Australia should have attacked her from the very start of her innings. A couple of close-in fielders might have helped the cause.

However, Australian skipper Meg Lanning missed the trick and allowed Deepti to forge a partnership of 137 runs with Kaur in which she contributed just 25 (35). Deepti’s innings might not seem to be that valuable when seen on the scorecard. But, it had a massive impact on the result of the game.

#3) Lost their top three batters cheaply

Australia v India - Game 1
Jhulan Goswami’suprooted the stumps of Meg Lanning (0) with a superb out-swinging delivery

Australia’s foundation was rocked quite early in their innings as they lost their top three batters for a paltry 21 runs. First, it was Shikha Pandey, who cleaned up Beth Mooney (1) with a superb delivery that jagged in from the middle and off-stump. Next, it was Jhulan Goswami’s turn as she uprooted the stumps of Meg Lanning (0) with a superb out-swinging delivery.

Later, Deepti Sharma affected a superb caught and bowled to dismiss Nicole Bolton for just 14 runs off 22 deliveries. These batters had done the bulk of the scoring for Australia in the tournament. Their dismissal in a clash like this resulted in huge pressure on the rest of the batters.

Although the rest of the batters tried their best to chase down the target, it ultimately proved to be too much for them.

#4) Lost Elyse Villani at the wrong time

Had she stayed there till the end, the result might well have been in Australia’s favour
Had she stayed there till the end, the result might well have been in Australia’s favour

Ellyse Perry and Elyse Villani had resurrected the Australian innings with a superb stand of 105 runs between them. While Villani was hammering the Indian bowlers at one end, Perry kept playing the second fiddle to her.

None of the Indian bowlers could trouble them in that period of time. Villani had made her way to 75 runs off just 57 deliveries when Australia were looking the up the ante further in the 24th over. Perry too had supported her well with 20-odd runs.

However, Villani went for a rash lofted on-drive off Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s bowling and Smriti Mandhana pulled off a superb catch at mid-on to bring an end to her superb innings. Had she stayed there till the end, the result might well have been in Australia’s favour.

#5) No one to support Alex Blackwell

Australia v India - Game 1
She struck 10 boundaries and three huge sixes in her innings of 90 off just 56 deliveries

Alex Blackwell produced a stellar performance with the bat as she single-handedly tried to get Australia over the line. She found no-support from the other end. Australia lost five wickets in a space of just 29 runs and were reduced to 169/9 within 33 overs.

She watched her team-mates getting dismissed one after another and she could do nothing. That was the time she decided to give it a last shot. She took the score from 169/9 to 245/9 single-handedly with a little support from the No.11 batter Kristen Beams.

She struck 10 boundaries and three huge sixes in her innings of 90 off just 56 deliveries. However, her valiant effort came to an end when Deepti Sharma cleaned her up with 11 deliveries remaining. Australia were thus knocked out of the tournament as India progressed to the final with a superb victory.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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