Australia vs India 1st Semifinal: Australia defeat India in the 1st semi-final of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and qualify for the finals. India’s horror run at knockout stages of ICC tournament’s continues as they once again fall short in their quest of reaching glory.
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Australia won the toss and elected to bat 1st at Newlands in Cape town in the 1st semi-final match. Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney got Australia off to a good start. Both the openers added 52 runs in 7 overs. Healy then danced down the track in the bowling of Radha Yadav and was stumped out for 25 runs.
Beth Mooney carried on her good run of form against India. She scored her 2nd fifty of the world cup. Mooney scored 54 runs in 37 balls. Mooney smashed 7 fours and one six in her knock off 54. Australia were 88 /2 at the end of 12 overs. Meg Lanning and Ashleigh Gardener paired up and smashed the Indian bowlers adding 53 runs in 6 overs. Australia were on course for a big total. Gardner was dismissed for 31 runs by Deepti Sharma. Gardner once again proved to be the game changer for Australia. Her knock of 31 runs in 18 balls at the end proved to be fatal.
Lanning remained unbeaten on 49 runs in 34 balls. She smashed 4 fours and two sixes in her innings. The Australian captain powered the total to 172 runs. Australia clearly had the momentum in the game at the end of 1st innings. Deepti Sharma was the most economical bowler for India.
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Harmanpreet Kaur’s valiant effort couldn’t Power India home
India after a poor bowling performance with the ball were off to a horrendous start losing both their openers early. Inform batter Smriti Mandhana couldn’t make much impact with the bat in crucial game. She was dismissed by Ashleigh Gardner LBW. Shafali Verma once again failed to score as she was dismissed by Megan Schutt for 9 runs. India were 19/2 at the end of 3 overs.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Harman Preet Kaur once again had to do bulk of the scoring. Rodrigues and Kaur paired up adding 69 runs for the 4th wicket in 6.4 overs. India were on track and looked comfortable at the half way mark. Rodrigues after a solid start scoring 43 runs in 24 balls, smashing 6 fours fell to Darcie Brown.
Australia were right back in the game. Soon after Harmanpreet Kaur gifted her wicket at a crucial point in the game. In an attempt to score a additional run Kaur ran a Suicidal run which proved to be costly. Kaur scored 52 runs in 34 balls.
Australia hold on to their nerve and defend the total. The six time world champions and defending champions once again make it to the finals. Ashleigh Gardner is the top performer for the Aussies. She picked up 2 crucial wickets early in the innings and was involved in the runout of Indian captain.
Darcie Brown and Megan Schutt picked up 2 wickets each. Australia make it to the finals undefeated. India once again fall short of their dream of becoming world champions.
Australia vs India Post Match Interview
Australian Captain Meg Lanning: One of the best wins I have been involved in. To fightback from well behind and win despite not playing our best cricket. Great fighting spirit from the girls, couldn’t be more proud of them. We missed out lengths and gave width at tims. India came hard at us and they have got some incredible players. Came right down to the wire and we had to seize those clutch moments. Certainly holds us in good stead for the final. We stayed in the game and that’s what you got to do under pressure. We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked, but we never panicked. Can’t wait to be out here on Sunday.
Indian Captain Harmanpreet Kaur: Can’t be unluckier than this, to get that momentum back when me and Jemi were batting. And to lose after that, we didn’t expect this today. The way I got runout, can’t be unluckier than that. Putting in the effort was more important. We discussed about fighting till the last ball. The result didn’t go our way, but I am happy with the way we played in this tournament.
We know we have a good batting line up even if we lose early wickets. Need to give credit to Jemimah for the way she batted today. She got us the momentum we were looking for. Happy to see such performances. Happy to see them play their natural game. We even though we didn’t play to our strengths, we reached the semis. We gave those easy catches away. Got to take those when you want to win. We misfielded. We can only learn from these lessons and not repeat the mistakes.
Australia vs India Player of the Match: Ashleigh Gardner
Bowling the last over, my average heart-rate is probably like 190. That just shows the way we fight as a team, and that’s what we kind of spoke about in the huddle right at the end. We probably weren’t in a winning position and that’s when this team does best. When our backs are up against the wall, we find a way and we scrap really hard and that’s what we did today with the ball. I think we set up the game really well with the bat, probably missed a few with the ball but I think that fight we showed shows the character of this team.