It was a case of so close yet so far for Mithali Raj & Co. at the iconic Lord’s on Sunday (July 23). Brimming with confidence after the heroics in the semifinal against the formidable Australians, the Women in Blue gave England a mighty scare before falling short of just 9 runs.
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After losing the toss on a good batting pitch, Indian bowlers did extremely well to restrict the three-time World Champions to 228 for 7 in the allotted 50 overs. Openers Laurent Winfield and Tammy Beaumont had given the hosts a good start by adding 47 runs but three wickets inside 16 runs put a break on their good start. An 83-run stand between Sarah Taylor (45) and Natalie Sciver (51) then steadied the ship before veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami dismissed both the set batswomen and Fran Wilson for a duck to reduce the hosts to 164 for 6. Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn then played handy knocks to propel England to 228 in the allotted 50 overs.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 23, 2017
In reply, India were off to a disastrous start with Smriti Mandhana failing once again as she departed for a duck. Mithali Raj (17) also could not do much before Punam Raut (86) and Harmanpreet Kaur (51) began the rescue work. The duo added 95 runs for the third wicket and completed their half-centuries during the course of the partnership but just when it looked India will get a firm grip on the match, Harmanpreet perished when her slog sweep went straight into the hands of Tammy Beaumont at deep backward square leg.
But India was still in command of the proceedings with Raut and Veda Krishnamurthy adding 53 runs for the fourth wicket. At 191 for 3 in the 43rd over, India were looking set to chase down the total but the match turned on its head after Anya Shrubsole dismissed Raut. The England pacer then ran through India’s batting order, finishing with figures of 6 for 46 as India lost its last 7 wickets for just 28 runs to lose the thrilling match by 9 runs.