The final matches are all about keeping the composure and holding the nerve and England proved it on Sunday at Lord’s (July 23). The three-time World Champions were on the backfoot for most of the time in the title-decider against India but showed their experience in the end to win the match by 9 runs.
India captain Mithali Raj admitted that England came out on top in the crunch moments which paved the way for them to lift the coveted title for the fourth time. At the same time, the 34-year old also praised her teammates for their brilliant performance throughout the tournament.
“It wasn’t easy for England but credit to them for holding their nerve,” she said in the post-match presentation. “They did well in those crunch moments which turned the game. I want to tell my girls that I am very proud of them. They didn’t make it easy for any of the teams.”
India were looking well-set to overhaul the 229-run target when Punam Raut and Veda Krishnamurthy shared over fifty runs after the former and Harmanpreet Kaur had laid the foundation for the chase with a 95-run stand. However, the floodgates opened once Anya Shrubsole dismissed Raut as India lost its last 7 wickets for just 28 runs to lose the match by 9 runs.
“The batting was a little inexperienced and they couldn’t hold their nerve in the end overs. I am sure this experience will help the batters,” Mithali said.
The India batting lynchpin also had a word of praise for fast-bowler Jhulan Goswami who had put India on top with an outstanding spell of 3 for 23 in 10 overs.
“Jhulan is a class bowler, she has shown it a number of times. She has had an excellent career, very long… and inspirational for young cricketers,” said Mithali who along with Jhulan was a part of the team that made it to the World Cup final in 2005.
Mithali, the highest run-scorer in ODI cricket, further confirmed that she played her last World Cup.
“I do see myself playing for a couple of years but I don’t see myself playing another World Cup,” she said.