Out of the four Women’s World Cup matches being played today, this was the one likely to garner the most eye-balls: the only knockout game, winner takes all—no complicated NRR calculations required. The rest of the semi-finalists were already decided: Australia, England and South Africa. In the end, it was India who brought their A-game and trounced New Zealand to win by an incredible 186 runs.
Entering the game under scrutiny for their slow approach and loss against South Africa, Mithali Raj and her girls rose to the occasion and were unstoppable today. The New Zealand skipper, Suzie Bates, put India in to bat first amidst overcast conditions where the ball was doing all sorts of things. India’s openers fell cheaply as Smriti Mandhana failed once again to live up the promise she showcased at the start of the tournament. However after being 21 for 2, India did not look back as Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur (60 runs from 90 balls) put up a 132 run partnership. Raj was the undisputed star with her 109 runs from 123, and she played till the end ensuring that India got a total of 267. Raj’s effort was bolstered by an aggressive 70 runs off 58 balls from Veda Krishnamurthy.
India took a huge gamble by replacing Ekta Bisht with left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad in this match and it paid dividends. The top order collapsed quite early on as India’s medium pacers stepped up to take key wickets: Bates, Priest and Martin. New Zealand sat nervously at 27/3 before Amy Satterthwaite anchored in to attempt a recovery of sorts with a fighting 26 runs from 60 balls. Unfortunately for New Zealand, she fell to a doosra by Gayakwad. The New Zealanders really needed Sophie Devine to fire in this innings, however she too was undone by Gayakwad’s excellent spell. The New Zealand collapse had set in and they were out for an embarrassing 79 runs in just 25.3 overs.
Derby seems to be India’s good luck charm as they have not lost a single of their four matches on the ground in the world cup. India will be playing Australia here this Thursday where they will need much of the same brilliance from today to take on the tournament’s favourites.
India v New Zealand ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
Mithali Raj is simply incredible. She’s a veteran who acts the part: always unfazed, pure class and we know that she’s an avid reader. After becoming the first woman to reach 6000 runs in ODIs, she scored her sixth ODI hundred with a sublime 109 from 123 balls to set up her team’s entry into the semi-finals. One of the upsides of India qualifying is that we get to see more of her.
Mithali Raj slams her sixth ODI century off 116 deliveries
Rajeshwari Gayakwad had one of these dream matches we all fantasize about on a slow Sunday afternoon. She came into a do-or-die game and rose to the occasion. Taking a coveted five-for in just 7.3 overs conceding just 15 runs, Gayakwad was unplayable as she dismissed Satterthwaite and Devine, both key batters that the opposition was relying on.