The Indian Women’s team went down agonisingly of winning the Women’s World Cup 2017, but under pressure could not hold their nerves against the hosts at iconic Lords Cricket Ground on 23rd July.
England captain Heather Knight won the toss and decided to bat first. Tammy Beaumont and Laura Winfield started off to a positive note with attacking stroke play. Both England batters played with intent looking in decent touch. Rajeshwari Gayakwad provided the breakthrough for Indian eves as she dismissed Winfield around the legs. The England openers added 47 runs.
The leg spinner Poonam Yadav struck twice getting the wickets of Beaumont with a full toss and then England captain Heather Knight with a review to put the hosts under pressure at 63 for 3.
The experienced duo of Sarah Taylor and Nat Sciver rescued the England innings with rotating the strike and hitting boundaries to put pressure on the Indian bowlers. Sciver was superb against Indian spinners.
She reached her fifty off 65 balls. The veteran Jhulan Goswami got the much-needed breakthrough getting rid of Sarah Taylor. Taylor and Sciver added 83 runs for the 4th wicket. She struck again off the very next ball to dismiss Fran Wilson off her first ball to put hosts under pressure.
Katherine Brunt 34 off 42, Jenny Gunn and Laura Marsh unbeaten partnership helped England post 228 for 7 in 50 overs.
Chasing 229 runs to win, it was a disappointing start for the Indian eves as Smriti Mandhana was cheaply by Annya Shurbsole. After the fall of Mithali Raj’s wicket, Harmanpreet Kaur and Punam Raut steadied the innings with rotating the strike and hitting boundaries.
Kaur was explosive the spinners and kept on rotating the strike. On the other hand, Raut remained solid enough to reach her fifty off 75 balls. The explosive Harmanpreet Kaur also completed her milestone off 78 balls.
Harmanpreet Kaur tried to hit a big shot and was caught by Beaumont. Kaur and Raut added 95 runs for the 3rd wicket. Veda Krishna Murthy came to the crease and showed her class with positive stroke play.
Shurbsole got the big wicket of Raut to end a 53-run stand for the 4th wicket. Annya Shurbsole wreaked havoc as she produced a match-winning spell by picking quick wickets to put Indian middle and lower order under pressure.
Sushma Verma, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey lost wickets. Veda Krishna Murthy was well set but played a rash stroke.
With 10 runs required, Rajeshwari Gayakwad was bowled by Shurbsole as Indian team from 191 for 3, lost their last 7 wickets quickly to give England a thrilling 9 run win.
England women 228 for 7 in 50 overs (Sciver 51, Sarah Taylor 45, Jhulan Goswami 3/23) beat Indian women 219 in 48.4 overs ( Punam Raut 86, Kaur 51, Shurbsole 6/46) by 9 runs.