Updated: July 23, 2017 10:51:55 pm
India needed to make 229 runs in 50 overs to win a maiden Women’s World Cup title. They seemed to be on track when Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur were batting through the 95-run partnership for their third wicket and it still was still the case when Raut was playing with Veda Krishnamurthy. They were 193/3 in the 42nd over and needed to chase down 229 and so it is safe to say that this was India’s match to lose. And they did.
It started with the wicket of Raut. She had made 86 and had made significant partnerships with Harmanpreet and Krishnamurthy. As an opener, she had done her job and so, there wouldn’t have been too many alarm bells ringing when Anya Shrubsole trapped her leg before wicket in the 42nd over. Just as how it was not seen as much of an incident when Harmanpreet was dismissed about six overs earlier.
Just the next over, Sushma Verma was dismissed for a duck and Krishnamurthy’s wicket followed in the next. That would have set off the aforementioned alarm bells there is not much batting left after Krishnamurthy. India had suffered such collapses earlier in the tournament, in their defeats against South Africa and Australia and it looked like the reel was playing. Even then, they had a lot of overs to bat and not many runs to get. It was far from being a run-a-ball or worse. But this Indian team have never been in a situation where they were so close, yet so far, from winning a World Cup title, unlike the opposition England team. The inexperience showed as one batter after the other was dismissed playing almost needless lofted shots and being caught all around the 30-yard circle.
India’s last wicket to fall was that of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and they had made 219 runs, 9 short of the target. Any Shrubsole became the hero of the final for England taking six of the Indian wickets that fell. She also conceded 46 runs in 9.4 overs she bowled but that, in the larger scheme of things, feels like a redundant statistic. India’s storied run this World Cup thus saw an anticlimactic end.
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