Openers Alyssa Healy (72 out of 65) and Rachael Haynes (43 out of 52) brought Australia to a runner with a 121 point score before skipper Lanning (97 out of 107) brought the team to the brink of victory.

India’s path to the semi-finals became a lot more difficult after losing six wickets to Australia in the Women’s World Cup here on Saturday, as the Meg Lanning-led side became the first to qualify for the final four legs with a record chase in the tournament history.

Half centuries of skipper Mithali Raj (68 out of 96 balls), Yastika Bhatia (59 out of 83) and Harmanpreet Kaur (57 not out of 47) sent India to 277 for seven.

The total had never been chased before in the tournament’s history, but Australia’s foreboding form and friendly batting conditions at Eden Park saw them go to their fifth win in as many matches.

Openers Alyssa Healy (72 out of 65) and Rachael Haynes (43 out of 52) brought Australia to a runner with a 121 point score before skipper Lanning (97 out of 107) brought the team to the brink of victory.

Jhulan Goswami had to defend eight runs from the final, but Beth Mooney (30 out of 20) got the job done in the first three balls. The road to the semi-finals has become more difficult for India after their third loss in five games. The runners-up of the 2017 edition will play their remaining matches against South Africa and Bangladesh.

“When you lose, you always feel like you’re 10-15 runs short. I think the way Australia started the innings was always above the ask price. The fielders could not support the bowlers.

“Hitting is something we wanted to improve on and we did. In the remaining games we have to do well in all departments. The next two games have to be won,” Mithali said after the game.

If hitting was a concern for India before the match, Australia, who easily chases a stiff target, has given the bowlers plenty to think about.

Healy was the aggressor alongside the in-form Haynes and played with the Indian attack – be it pacers or spinners.
The likes of Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh were either too full or too short in the beginning and Healy was quick to punish them with a flurry of cover runs, shots and puffs.

When India’s best spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad came on the attack, Alyssa used the sweep shot brilliantly to put more pressure on the opponent. India playing one less bowler in the absence of Deepti Sharma didn’t help their cause either.

As Australia marched to victory 225 for two, a passing shower halted things at Eden Park, but play quickly resumed and Australia completed the job with little fuss.

Earlier, Mithali and Yastika held the Indian innings steady with a 130-run tie for the third wicket after Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma fell cheaply.

As India dropped to 213 for six from 158 for two, Harmanpreet came up with a much needed counterattack to take the team well past 250. Pooja Vastrakar again ensured the late bloom with 34 from 28 balls.

Pooja and Harmanpreet shot 64 runs from 47 balls into their seventh wicket position, with India taking 52 runs in the last five overs.

India decided to bolster its clout by recalling opener Shafali at the expense of all-rounder Deepti Sharma, who had batted at number four in the previous two games.

Yastika, who batted in third with Shafali who joined Smriti at the top, scored her first half-century of the tournament as a batter alongside veteran Mithali, who pushed herself back to number four.

The skipper also came back to the points after a meager run to her high standards in the first four games.

Both Mithali and Yastika found it difficult to turn the offense early in their innings before finding their rhythm. They used the late cut to good effect against spinners Alana King and Ashleigh Gardner, who were not at their best on the day.

The captain also hit a straight six from left-arm spinner Jess Jonasen en route to her first half-century of competition.

After both Yastika and Mithali were killed trying to accelerate, Harmanpreet took the opportunity and made sure her team put down a competitive total.

The T20 skipper, who even dropped out of the playing 11 before the World Cup due to a prolonged meager patch, reached her third 50-plus score in the tournament, proving that she is a major tournament player.

Harmanpreet used her signature sweep shot of both spinners and pacers to pressure the opposition. She was helped by Pooja, who hit a pair of sixes and a boundary to end the innings on a high.

A normally disciplined Australia threw a whopping 24 to aid India’s cause.


This post ICC Women’s ODI World Cup: Australia beat India by six wickets to qualify for semi-finals was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/sports/icc-womens-odi-world-cup-australia-outplay-india-by-six-wickets-to-qualify-for-semifinals/2465327/”

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