The Mithali Raj-led Indian side scripted an emphatic win over Australia in the second semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 at Derby to register a berth in the final of the tournament where they will now meet England in the title clash. Riding on a ruthless batting display by Harmanpreet Kaur, India, in a rain-curtailed match, posted 281/4 in 42 overs and later bundled out Meg Lanning’s side for 245 to win the match by 36 runs. This is the second time that the Indian women’s team have made a place in the World Cup final. The last time they achieved the feat was back in 2005. India won five out of their seven round-robin matches and we now take a look at their road to final in this particular edition.
India vs England
Mithali’s troops took on hosts England in their first match of the tournament at Derby and stamped authority after winning the match by 35 runs. Batting first, India scored 281/3 in 50 overs. Openers Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana and captain Mithali Raj chipped in with individual half-centuries. Later, England were bowled out for 246 in 47.3 overs.
India vs West Indies
The Indian team carried on their form in the second match as well where they met West Indies at Taunton. West Indies, after batting first, managed to score 183/8 in 50 overs after Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur scalped two wickets each. In reply, India lost Punam Raut without scoring but Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 106 and Mithali’s 46 guided them to a seven-wicket win.
India vs Pakistan
A clash against Pakistan is always big but Mithali and her side made it special when they grabbed a win against the arch rivals by 95 runs at Derby. After batting first, India were restricted to 169/9 in 50 overs but Ekta Bisht’s spin turned the game in India’s favour. Bisht scalped a fifer as Pakistan were bundled out for 79 to give India their third win on the trot in the tournament.
India vs Sri Lanka
India continued their winning run against Sri Lanka at Derby. India batted first and scored 232/8 in 50 overs after Deepti Sharma and Mithali Raj notched up individual half-centuries. Later, they restricted Sri Lanka to 216/7 to win the match by 16 runs.
India vs South Africa
India looked pretty solid and consistent untill they met South Africa at Leicester. Riding on Lizelle Lee’s 92, South Africa smashed 273/9 in 50 overs. In reply, India choked and were all out for 158 as lost the match by 115 runs.
India vs Australia
India’s performance once again disappointed their fans and this time it was against Lanning’s Australian team. Mithali’s team batted first but despite a hundred from Punam Raut, India were restricted to 226/7 at Bristol. Australia chased down the target in 45.1 overs with eight wickets in hand.
India vs New Zealand
India needed to win their clash against New Zealand to make way into the semi-final. In a do-or-die match at Derby, Mithali Raj came up with a captain’s knock when she scored 109 while Veda Krishnamurthy’s quickfire 45-ball 70 anchored India to 265/7. The real drama began when New Zealand came out to bat as Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up five wickets as New Zealand were bundled out for 79 runs.
India vs Australia (SF)
India had already lost to Australia during the group stage and a loss in this match would have meant curtains for Mithali’s troops in this tournament. The play on Thursday was delayed after heavy showers and the match was eventually reduced to 42 overs a side. India won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia. After a watchful start, Harmanpreet Kaur smashed 115-ball 171 and remained unbeaten as India scored 281/4. In reply, Australia were bowled out for 245.