With a below par batting and Mithali Raj’s controversial absence sees the women’s side wrap up for just 112 runs.
India’s dominant start to ICC Women’s World T20 came to a disappointing end as they were beaten by old nemesis England in the semi-finals at North Sound, Antigua.
India failed to flatter with the bat. In the past as well, they finished their run in the semifinals in 2009 and 2010.
As a result of their impressive 8-wicket win with 17 balls to spare, England has now set up an interesting final with traditional rivals Australia. The Australians got the better of the defending champions West Indies in another one-sided contest.
Winning the toss, Harmanpreet Kaur decided to bat first. However, for the first time in the tournament, India put up a dreadful batting display, which is considered arguably as their biggest strength, and could manage only 112 runs.
The total ultimately proved to be too small a total for the Europeans, as Natalie Sciver and Amy Jones alone playing unbeaten knocks of 52 runs and 53 runs respectively to see their team progress into the finals. Prior to the match, captain Harmanpreet Kaur had taken some contentious team selection decision like leaving India’s most experienced batswoman Mithali Raj out of the crucial semi-final.
In her defence though, the skipper had said that the team was “sticking to the winning combination” that had aided in getting the better of Australia previously.
After the crushing defeat, when asked if the decision made sense in hindsight, Kaur said, “Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets. I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament.”
It was Smriti Mandhana and Taniya Bhatia who gave a competitive start to India. Between them, they put together a stand of 43 runs for the opening wicket within the Powerplay overs.
When Bhatia exited the contest in the 9th over, with India were standing at a score of 53/2.
However, even with Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet in the middle of the pitch, the flow of runs quickly went down. Soon, the pressure crawled and at 89/2, Jemimah got dismissed on a Kirstie Gordon delivery.
We are at the halfway stage in the Indian innings. The opening partnership between Smriti and Taniya was worth 43 runs.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) November 23, 2018
Soon to join her in the pavilion were Veda Krishnamurthy (2), Harmanpreet (16), Dayalan Hemalatha (1), Anuja Patil (0) and Radha Yadav (4) who all had disastrous innings as they failed to keep pace with a tricky track at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium.
Between the 13th and the 19th over, India had lost 6 wickets for just 15 runs in return. As a result, Indians went from 89/2 all the way down to 104/8.
Arundhati Reddy and Deepti Sharma followed the suit in the last over as India wrapped up for a paltry 112 runs.
In the second innings, England started on a back foot as Radha Yadav struck in the second over to dismiss an in-form Tamsin Beaumont. Deepti got the English wicket in the form of another opener Danielle Wyatt in the 5th over.
At 24/2, India sensed a remote possibility of what would have been a stunning victory. However, two players Sciver and Jones spilt cold water on their hopes with some sensible batting.
The two players put up 105 runs in total to see off a relatively comfortable victory and also book a place in the finals.
The intriguing final between England and Australia will be held on Sunday.