CWC 22: Australia claim semi-final spot after beating India in last-over thriller

Australia continued their unbeaten run at the 2022 Women’s World Cup when they edged past India by 6 wickets in a last-over thriller in Auckland. The 6-time champions rode Meg Lanning’s 98 and Alyssa Healy’s 72 to smash a tough 278-run target in the final.

India fought back towards the end with Lanning’s wickets after a rain delay, but Mithali Raj’s side couldn’t keep their nerve as Australia needed 8 runs in the final.

With the win, Australia became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. They have won all of their 5 games at the World Cup so far.

On the other hand, India is ranked 4th after losing 3 in 5 games.

MITHALI, HARMANPREET 1950’S FORGIVE

Earlier, half centuries of skipper Mithali Raj, Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur steered India 277-7 in their deciding match at the Women’s World Cup here on Saturday against Australia.

Mithali (68/96) and Yastika (59/83) stabilized the innings with a 130-run for the third wicket after India cheaply lost openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma.

After India slipped from 158-2 to 213-6, Harmanpreet came up with a much-needed 57 on 47 balls to propel the team well past 250. Pooja Vastrakar again provided the late swing with 34 balls to 28 balls.

Pooja and Harmanpreet hit 64 runs from 47 balls in their seventh wicket stand, with India selecting 52 runs in the last five overs.

India, used to bat by Australia, decided to step up the batting, bringing back opener Shafali at the expense of rounder Deepti Sharma, who had batted at four in the previous two games.

Yastika, who hit Smriti with Shafali at the helm, scored her first half-century of the tournament by hitting alongside veteran Mithali, who moved down one place to fourth.

The skipper also returned to runs after a meager run for her high standards in the first four games.

Both Mithali and Yastika found it difficult to turn the bat early in their innings before finding their rhythm. They successfully used the late cut against spinners Alana King and Ashleigh Gardner, who weren’t at their best that day.

Also en route to her first half century in competition, the captain met straight six off left-arm spinner Jess Jonasen.

After both Yastika and Mithali died trying to accelerate, Harmanpreet rose to the occasion and ensured her team posted a competitive total.

The T20 skipper, who was even left out of the playing XI ahead of the Worlds due to a persistent bout of weakness, achieved her third 50 plus score of the tournament, proving she’s a big tournament player.

Harmanpreet used her signature sweep shot of spinners and pacers to put pressure on opponents. She was helped by Pooja, who smashed a couple of sixes and a boundary to end the innings on a high.

A normally disciplined Australia bowled as many as 24 wides to help India’s cause.

SHORT RESULTS

Australia 280/4 in 49.3 overs (Lanning 98, Healy 72; Vastrakar 2/43) defeated India 277/7 in 50 overs by 6 wickets.

BS ATK ATK

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