Match 23 of the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup between Australia v India was played at Bristol County Ground on Wednesday. A win for either team would have guaranteed them a semi-final berth. Reigning champions Australia were in no mood to give India any breathing space; they comprehensively defeated them by 8 wickets to book their spot in the semi-finals. India will now have to beat New Zealand on Saturday to qualify for the semis of an ICC event for the first time since 2010 in the last group game which is now a virtual quarterfinal for both teams.
It was another clinical performance from the Aussies as they restricted India to 226 for 7 on a slow turner. Indian batters failed to launch after a well fought but slow 157 run second wicket partnership between centurion Punam Raut and the brilliant Mithali Raj, who became the leading run scorer in Women’s ODIs as she surpassed retired England great Charlotte Edwards’ total of 5992. Raj scored 69 and took her tally of total runs to 6028. When Raj fell in the forty-first over, the score was 166 for 2, Harpanpreet Kaur tried to accelerate but in the process lost her wicket in the forty-sixth over. Aussie bowlers pounced on the chance, took 4 wickets for just 16 runs. It was too late for Deepti Sharma to make amends as she came out to bat in the last over. Credit needs be given to Meg Lanning and her girls who didn’t give India any breathing space to score freely. Australia only lost two wickets in the process of chasing down the target in just 45 overs: the top order didn’t disappoint, Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney added 62 for the first wicket and the job was completed by captain fantastic Meg Lanning 76* and superstar Ellyse Perry 60*..
Australia, England and South Africa become the first three teams to qualify for the semis. Now, India and New Zealand will have to fight it out on Saturday for the fourth and final place in the semis. India will have to work on their shortcomings and come back stronger in their last league game. The Women’s World Cup has surely gone down the wire.
Australia v India ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
Aussie skipper, also the player of the match, led from the front once again; she scored a confident 76 off 88 balls and helped her team into the semis. She came to the crease with Australia 62 for 1, she hit a six on just the second ball she faced and didn’t hesitate in coming onto the front foot for the rest of her innings. Lanning also hit 7 fours in her innings of 76, passing one major milestone on the way, 5000 international runs.
India lost their last 5 wickets for 23 runs. All bowlers chipped in when it mattered, bowled to a strict line and length and didn’t let Indian batters score freely at all. Perry once again starred with both the bat and bowl. She took 2 wickets for 37 runs (the main wicket of the centurion, Punam Raut and Jhulan Goswami) and also featured in an unbeaten third wicket stand of 124 with her captain Meg Lanning. Perry scored her fourth consecutive half century; she has been outstanding throughout the world cup.
Punam Raut is dismissed for 106 by Ellyse Perry