WWC Final: Indian batting collapse gives England their fourth title
London: Indian women Cricket team collapsed under the pressure of a match as big as the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 to handover a nine-run victory to host England team at the Lord’s Cricket ground here on Sunday.
English bowlers kept their nerves till the end to re-write history for the fourth time since the inception of the coveted tournament.
Anya Shrubsole emerged as the mentor of England’s victory as they snatched away victory from the jaws of India. She bagged six crucial wickets in her 9.4 overs and gave away 46 runs to seal the historic win for her team. She was awarded player of the match for her stunning performance which created the difference in the match.
Despite some dropped chances, India failed to capitalise and collapsed shockingly after the fall of Punam Raut, who played a phenomenal inning of 86 runs off 115 deliveries with 4 fours and a six. She went back when India was on the driving seat with 191 runs on the board and only 33 runs required off another 39 deliveries.
After Raut’s departure, India lost six wickets for mere 28 runs. Earlier, Smriti Mandhana disappointed as she failed to open her account and skipper Mithali Raj got run out at 17 off 31 trying to take a quick single.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the crusader of India’s semifinal victory over Australia, once again played an important inning of 51 runs off 80 deliveries with 3 fours and 2 sixes. She added 95 runs for the third wicket which brought India in the commanding position, but eventually turned out to be a little less to win a World Cup.
Veda Krishnamurthy also played a quick 35-run inning off only 34 balls. She hit 5 boundaries in her inning. Deepthi Sharma, who exhibited tremendous Cricket throughout the tournament with bat ball and on the field, failed to lead her side across the line this time as she got out as the ninth wicket of India at the individual score of 14 runs off 12 deliveries.
Alex Hartley was the only other wicket-taker for England as she picked up two wickets for 58 runs in her 10 overs.
Earlier, in the much-awaited final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, England, after winning the toss, managed to post 228/7 in allotted 50 overs.
Indian bowlers were once looking to restrict the hosts below 200-run mark but a few down-order partnerships helped the home team post a challenging score.
Openers Lauren Winfield (24 off 35) and Tammy Beaumont (23 off 37) gave a healthy start to their team adding 47 runs for the first wicket in 11 overs. Sarah Taylor also played a gritty knock of 45 runs off 62 deliveries, and could manage only one four during her stay at the crease.
Skipper Heather Knight failed to live up to the expectations today as she could only score 1 runs off 7 deliveries she faced. Fran Wilson went for a golden duck, while Natalie Sciver was the highest scorer for England with a 51-run knock. She took 68 deliveries and laced her inning with 5 boundaries.
Katherine Brunt (34 off 42), Jenny Gunn (25* off 38) and Laura Marsh (14* off 11) added very crucial 64 runs during the slog overs to help their team aggregate a good total on the board. At one point, the home team was under immense pressure at 164/6 in 37.1 overs and were playing under the threat of being bowled out before 200 runs.
India’s most experienced bowler Jhulan Goswami pulled out an exceptional figure of 3/23 in 10 overs with 3 maidens. Poonam Yadav was the second highest wicket-taker with 2/36 in 10 overs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad also picked up a pick and went for 49 runs in her 10 overs.
Deepti Sharma once again managed a run-out today to dismiss Brunt.
Now, if Indian women manage to play the same kind of Cricket they have exhibited throughout the tournament, they surely are going to defeat the three-time champions for their first ever World Cup victory.
Tammy Beaumont was named player of the series for scoring more than 400 runs in the tournament.
Indian women might have missed the opportunity of listing the coveted cup for the second time (earlier in 2005) but won hearts through the kind of Cricket they exhibited throughout the tournament and their journey to the final of the World Cup. They deserve all the accolades and honour for their tremendous effort.