India’s quest for their first-ever Women’s T20 World Cup title came to an end on Thursday as they were beaten by Australia in the semi-finals at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
Winning the toss, Australian captain Meg Lanning decided to bat first, and her team started the innings with an aggressive approach. Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney played with positive intent and scored boundaries at regular intervals. Healy, who had a poor run in the tournament so far, found her form and smashed 44 off 28 balls. Mooney was the anchor of the innings and played a mature knock of 61 off 52 balls. They put together a 90-run partnership for the first wicket and laid a solid foundation for the middle order.
After their departure, Lanning played a captain’s knock and scored a quickfire 31 off 19 balls. Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner contributed with 15 and 13 runs respectively, and Australia finished their innings with a challenging total of 162/5.
India’s chase got off to a disastrous start as opener Shafali Verma, who had been India’s top scorer in the tournament, was dismissed for a duck in the very first over. India’s experienced batter, Smriti Mandhana, who has also been struggling to find form, could not stay at the crease for long and was dismissed for just 7 runs.
India’s captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, and vice-captain, Jemimah Rodrigues, tried to stabilize the innings with a partnership of 40 runs, but the required run rate kept mounting, and they were forced to play more aggressively. Rodrigues was dismissed for 26 runs, and Harmanpreet soon followed her, scoring 28 runs.
India’s lower-order batters could not provide the necessary impetus to the innings, and India was eventually bowled out for 115 runs, falling short of the target by 47 runs. Megan Schutt and Nicola Carey were the picks of the Australian bowlers, taking two wickets each.
It was a disappointing end to India’s campaign, but they can take heart from the fact that they reached the semi-finals for the third time in a row. They had a successful group stage, winning all four matches and beating strong teams like England and South Africa. However, they will have to work on their batting, especially their top order, which failed to fire in the crucial knockout match.
Australia, on the other hand, continues their domination in Women’s T20 cricket and will be the favorite to win the title for the fifth time. They have a well-balanced team, with top-quality batters, bowlers, and fielders, and they will be tough to beat in the final.
The Indian women’s team had high hopes coming into this match, but they were outplayed by the defending champions. The Indian bowlers could not contain the Australian batters, and the fielding was not up to the mark, with some missed catches and misfields. India will have to work on their fielding, which has been one of their strengths in the past.
The Indian team can take some positives from this tournament, as they showed great character in their come-from-behind victories against South Africa and England. They also unearthed a new star in Shafali Verma, who scored three half-centuries in the tournament and proved to be a fearless opener. The likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Smriti Mandhana will have to step up in the next few years and take more responsibility in the batting department.
Australia, on the other hand, will be looking to continue their dominance in the final, where they will face the winner of the other semi-final between England and New Zealand. The Australian team has been in excellent form throughout the tournament, and they have looked unbeatable at times.
The Women’s T20 World Cup has been a great advertisement for women’s cricket, with some high-quality matches and some outstanding individual performances. The crowds have turned up in large numbers, and the players have shown great sportsmanship on and off the field. The tournament has also shown the progress that women’s cricket has made in recent years, with more countries taking up the sport and more opportunities being created for women cricketers.
In conclusion, it was a match where Australia dominated from the beginning and did not let India get back in the game. India’s batting let them down, and they will have to go back to the drawing board and work on their weaknesses. Australia, on the other hand, will be looking to continue their form and clinch the title in the final. The Women’s T20 World Cup has been an exciting tournament so far, with high-quality cricket and close matches, and the final promises to be a cracker of a game.
For more such match summaries and sports content stay hooked to Panchayiti