The Indian women suffered a heartbreaking exit from the ongoing ICC Women’s World Championship after the South African women kept their nerve to chase the 275-run target in the final delivery and a three-wicket in the final group game of the tournament in Christchurch -Victory Scored Help the West Indies earn a spot in the semi-finals.
India fought hard, fought bravely and it took a penultimate no-ball from Deepti Sharma to draw the curtain on their World Cup campaign. Alongside Australia, South Africa and England, the West Indies are now in the semi-finals.
— ICC (@ICC) March 27, 2022
Earlier, Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana and skipper Mithali Raj beat half a century and laid the platform for India to post a competitive 274 for seven at Hagley Oval on Sunday. South Africa chased the goal in the final ball, with Laura Wolvaardt (80′), Mignon du Preez (52′ not failing) and Lara Goodall (49′) scoring the most runs.
India opted to put runs on the board in the high-pressure game while their opponents took the field in their last league game, having already qualified for the semifinals. Shafali (53 of 46) and Smriti (71 of 84) shared a 91-run streak of 90 balls for the opening wicket to provide the start India was looking for. Harmanpreet Kaur had 48 of 57 balls towards the end of the innings.
Shafali scored the majority of the heats in partnership with Smriti, showing her flowing best en route to her first 50th World Cup title. She put pressure on South Africa’s top bowler, Pacer Shabnim Ismail, by attacking her from the start.
Shafali collected three boundaries ahead of Shabnim’s second over, including a bold step over the stump to whip the South African bowler over a short leg. Their entertaining innings included eight fours.
The 18-year-old finished her first fifty of the competition with a border over Masabata Klaas, which was off center in the middle.
With the way the opening players went about their business, India looked on course for 300 for the second time in the tournament. However, India lost to Shafali against the run of the game before number three batsman Yastika Bhatia bizarrely exited.
Meanwhile, there was a miscommunication between Shafali and Smirti over a quick single on the leg side
Yastika played a sweep shot to her stumps from spinner Chloe Tryon, leaving India at 96 for two of 91 without a loss.
Mithali and Smriti then teamed up to regain the lost momentum. Brought back into attack after an expensive ban, Shabnim came back strong. She made excellent use of the bouncer to put pressure on the India skipper.
It was a typical Mithali tap as she changed gears after taking her time early. She relieved the pressure with a series of slicing shots from spinners before hitting a great cover driver from Pacer Marizanne Kapp.
With Mithali strong and Harmanpreet in the middle, India found their rhythm back to 223 for three in 40 overs. However, only 51 runs were scored from the last 60 balls for the loss of four wickets as India failed to score the last upswing.
Interestingly, Mithali scored her 50th goal in a crucial game on the same pitch where she scored her first world title 22 years ago half a century ago.