For the second time in two months, team India suffered a heartbreak in England. Last month, it was the Virat Kohli led Indian team and this time, Mithali Raj was the skipper who was let down by the team in the final of an ICC event.
Once again, the India failed to get their hands on the World Cup under Mithali Raj. It was way back in 2005 when Mithali led the team to the final and India lost to Australia and this time, England was the team that kept Indian team away from a win.
Low target is always something difficult to achieve and especially in the finals where nerve plays a big role. Chasing 229 was a difficult task, especially when an opener goes back on a duck. Smriti Mandhana, who showed hopes in the initial games was back without putting a run on the board, putting pressure on India. Skipper Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut put the side on the track but a strange run out ended Mithali’s innings.
The onus was on Harmnapreeet Kaur to do the task along with Raut. They did it to a certain extent but after pushing team’s score 95 runs ahead, it was all over for Harmanpreet. The hopes were generated by Veda Krishnamurthy when she continued her style of play. But as close the team was coming close to the target, more was the pressure increasing on the team and as a result, team India fell nine runs short of the target.
Anya Shrubsole played a key role in routing out India by dismissing six of the batters.
Batting first, England had a good start to their innings with the opening pair putting up 47 runs for the first wicket in 11 overs. Indian bowlers pounced upon the opportunity and got two more wickets to put England in a tough situation of 63/2. From there, though the wheel went in opposite direction as Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver put England on road to rejuvenation. They shared 83 runs for the fourth wicket and kept India at bay for long.
They weren’t giving slender of a chance to the Indian bowlers and were doing away with the spinners. It was the experience of Jhulan Goswami that went in favour of India. The highest wicket-taker in women’s cricket was called into the bowl the 33rd over of the game and she came up with two back to back wickets of the Taylor and Fran Wilson, to put England chances of a touching score of 250 in jeopardy. Before Sciver could change her batting gear after chasing down the score of 50, Goswami again struck a crucial wicket of her and put India on the top.
This was a time when England got a helping hand when Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn scored crucial runs in the end overs to stretch the score to 228.
The total turned out to be a match winning one and England emerged as the winners of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 by defeating India by a margin of nine runs in the final at Lord’s.