NEW ZEALAND: India has been eliminated from the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after losing by three wickets to South Africa in a thrilling match.India won the toss and batted first. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma, the Indian openers, put on a 91-run partnership, the longest in the competition.
Both openers, as well as Indian captain Mithali Raj, struck half-centuries.
Despite the bottom order’s rapid collapse, Harmanpreet’s important cameo of 48 runs (off 57 balls) helped India set a tough goal of 275. Shabnim Ismail, a South African, irritated Indians with her unplayable bouncers. Marizanne Kapp, who bowled nine overs and went wicketless, gave up 56 runs.
Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa reached 80 runs in the second innings when Harmanpreet bowled a spectacular delivery into the stumps and sent her to the pavilion. Lara Goodall, Marizanne Kapp, Sune Luus, the South African captain, and the explosive Chloe Tryon all contributed to the triumph. Mignon du Preez was the one who put it all together for SA.
Apart from three run-outs in South Africa’s innings, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Harmanpreet Kaur of India each took two wickets.
Meghna Singh, who replaced Jhulan Goswami today, conceded 37 runs in 6 overs, without taking a wicket: Goswami was unavailable for today’s game due to injury. South Africa accomplished the run chase off the final ball.
Mignon du Preez was caught on the long-on, by Harmanpreet on the 5th ball of the last over. However, Deepti Sharma bowled a no-ball in a much tense situation in the final over where South Africa needed 4 runs in 2 deliveries. The no-ball gave an extra run along with the free-hit. SA needed 1 run off 1 ball, Du Preez flicked it through mid-wicket & India’s world cup battle came to an end, dramatically.
India was considered one of the favorites from the tournament. Moreover, this was the last world cup of Indian veteran Jhulan Goswami, the highest wicket-taker in women’s game with 352 wickets across all formats of international cricket & skipper Mithali Raj, the highest run-scorer in women’s game, with 85 fifty-plus scores across all formats of international cricket.
The top four teams, Australia, South Africa, England & West Indies are the semi-finalists, for the WCWC 2022. Australia will face West Indies in the first semi-final on Wednesday, March 30th, at Wellington. South Africa will have to face England in the second semi-final on March 31st at Christchurch. The final game will be played at Christchurch, on April 3rd, between the winners of semi-final one & two.
S Mandhana 71 (84) S Ismail 10-42-2
M Raj 68 (84) M Klaas 8-38-2
SOUTH AFRICA 275/7
L Wolvaaardt 80 (79) R Gayakwad 10-62-2
Du Preez 52* (63) H Kaur 8-42-2
Player of the Match: Mignon Du Preez for her 52* off 63.