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Women’s T20 WC 2023: India’s Title Hopes End With 5-Run Defeat To Australia

Women's T20 World Cup 2023: India could score only 33 runs in the last five overs of the chase.

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Cricket
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India’s campaign at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 concluded on a heartbreaking note, as they suffered a five-run defeat against Australia in the semi-final fixture. Chasing a total of 173 runs here in Newlands, Cape Town, Harmanpreet Kaur’s team could only accumulate 167/8 in their 20 overs.

The Aussies had a splendid start with the ball with Megan Schutt dismissing Shafali Verma in the second over, before Smriti Mandhana was trapped leg before wicket by Ashleigh Gardner in the very next over.

Yastika Bhatia’s stay at the crease was also a short one, as a mix-up with Jemimah Rodrigues resulted in a run-out in the fourth over.

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At 28/3, it seemed India are all but out of the game, but skipper Kaur, alongside young batting prodigy, Rodrigues, put up a commendable fight. The pair not only prevented the consistent fall of wickets, but they also kept the scoreboard ticking.

After adding 69 runs for the fourth-wicket stand, Rodrigues departed in the 11th over when she edged a Darcie Brown delivery into the gloves of Alyssa Healy. Despite the breakthrough, Meg Lanning’s bowler could not issue a cease and desist on India’s free-flowing scoring rate, as Kaur brought up a well-deserved half-century in the 15th over.

However, in the same over, she lost her wicket in a rather unfortunate manner as the 33-year-old’s bat got stuck in the pitch. It turned out to be a game-defining moment as last edition’s runners-up kept on losing wickets at regular intervals thereafter.

The next over saw Richa Ghosh being dismissed by Brown, and whilst Sneh Rana did well to score 11 runs, Jess Jonassen called curtains to her knock in the penultimate over, which produced only four runs. Requiring 16 off the last over, India could only score 10 as Deepti Sharma remained not out on 20.

Mooney, Lanning Help Australia Score 172

Earlier, opener Beth Mooney struck a delightful 54, whilst skipper Meg Lanning applied finishing touches with 49 not out to help Australia post a strong 172/4.

The five-time champions lived up to their reputation of coming good in a crunch knockout game as Mooney, in her 37-ball knock, hit seven fours and a six apart from earning a reprieve, while Lanningw as outstanding in her 34-ball unconquered stay, hitting four boundaries and two sixes, to make up for a slow start.

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India were sloppy in their ground fielding, while in their bowling, Kaur’s girls were found wanting. Shikha Pandey, who picked up two wickets, and Deepti Sharma, who had one wicket to her name, were the only two Indian bowlers to have maintained an economy rate of 8 runs per over or fewer.

Renuka Singh, who had a tournament to remember until now, had a day to forget today as she conceded 41 runs in her four-over spell – 18 of which came in the last over itself.

(With inputs from IANS)

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