England’s resilience, their ability to keep calm under pressure and Anya Shrubsole’s 6-fer triggering a dramatic batting collapse, resulted in their 4th World Cup win, beating the valiant Indian team by nine runs. Despite the loss Indian team walked away with their heads held high as there is no shame in losing out to a better team in a World Cup. The team can be really proud of the way they have performed and made people take notice, stand up and applaud. Let’s have a look at how things unfolded in front of a packed Lord’s – The Home Of Cricket.
Early Advantage For England
England captain Heather Knight won the toss and decided to bat first under overcast conditions. It was a brave decision because in England or for that matter anywhere in the world, overcast conditions call for bowling first but, it being a World Cup Final, she thought otherwise. In a crunch game, it’s always a prudent approach to set the target. The pressure of chasing runs can get the better of the best of players. For India, it was important to pick up early wickets and negate the advantage which England were seeking.
Openers Give England A Steady Start
Jhulan Goswami started off the proceedings for India and she was right on the money, bowling a good and length, thereby kept a check on the scoring rate. From the other end, England’s opening pair of Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont could score freely off Shikha Pandey’s deliveries. In the first seven overs, whereas Jhulan Goswami’s bowling figures reflected 4-1-9-0, conceeding only nine runs off her first 4 overs, with one maiden, Shikha Pandey was going at seven an over. The 8th over of the innings saw a change in the bowling, with Rajeshwari Gaekwad coming on to bowl in place of Shikha but India’s attempt to pick up a wicket or to put a check on the scoring rate did not succeed. Gaekwad gave away 12 runs off her very first over. After 8 overs, England were 42/0, going smoothly without any problem whatsoever. Goswami kept her good work going, giving away only a single of her 5th over.
Three Wickets In Quick Succession
India got their first wicket when Tammy Winfield was bowled round her legs by Rajeshwari Gayakwad for 24, with England on 47/1 off 11.1 overs.The pressure created from the other end really worked in giving India the much needed breakthrough. She cramped her for room but Winfield still trying to play by creating an angle, got bowled round her legs.
Soon England lost their other opener Tammy Beaumont in space of another 13 runs, when she was caught on the fence by Jhulan Goswami off Poonam Yadav’s bowling.
India, was slowly but surely getting a grip over the contest and they got a firmer hold over the proceedings when right after the drinks break, Poonam Yadav got Knight out lbw for 1, through DRS.
Suddenly from nowhere, England had lost 3 quick wickets for just 16 runs and the score read 64/3 off 17 overs.
Period Of Consolidation
After losing three quick wickets, partnership was the need of the hour for England and they got that through a solid stand between Sarah Taylor and Nat Sciver. They put together 83 runs for the 4th wicket with Taylor batting on 45, before getting picked up by Jhulan Goswami caught at leg side by Sushma Verma. The breakthrough had come at the right time and it would allow India to tighten the screws and put a check on the scoring rate. It was 146/4 at that stage, which soon became 146/5, when the tall fast bowler dismissed Fran Wilson lbw off the very first ball for a duck.
It was an excellent spell of bowling from the tall fast bowler, bringing India right back into the contest and raised hopes of restricting England to a modest total.
At 146/5 in 33 overs, task was cut out for England to come back into the contest and also try and play out the whole quota of overs. Their hopes got a real jolt when in another five overs, Jhulan Goswami picked up her 3rd wicket, when the sixth English wicket went down in the 38th over, with only 164 on the board. It was a dream spell from Goswami, who had helped turn the match on it’s head in India’s favour, ended with excellent figures of 10-3-32-3. Three wickets along with three maidens were priceless from India’s point of view. At the 40th over mark, Eng were 168/6, looking to play out the innings and eventually they did manage to play out the whole quota of overs, losing only a wicket and adding another 61 runs in the last 10 overs. So the target for India to win their first Women’s World Cup was 229.
India Lose An Early Wicket
Chasing a modest target of 229 in a World Cup Final required a steady start but unfortunately India lost Smriti Mandhana early, which gave England the early boost they needed.
Poonam Raut, the opening partner of Smriti was joined by captain Mithali Raj and both played cautiously, on the merit of the ball, with Poonam Raut taking some calculated risks from time to time. After 10 overs, they were 31/1. While Poonam took the risks to ensure they don’t fall too far behind the asking rate, Mithali mainly depended on her subtle touches. Just when things looked to be settling down for India, Mithali got run out for 17, with India at 43/2.
India’s star of the Semi-Final, Harmanpreet Kaur came out to bat at No 4 and she had a sedate start to her innings. Fifty was brought up in the 15th over. England spinners, Alex Hartley and Marsh had really put the brakes on the scoring by not allowing Raut and Kaur to break free. 20th over was the one in which the pair broke the shackles, with Harmanpreet managing to hit a six over long on off Marsh’s bowling and Poonam Raut played a scoop over the head of the keeper, moving the score up to 69/2. While Harmanpreet struggled to pierce the in-field for singles, thereby rotate the strike on a regular basis, she banked on her ability to play big shots against the spinners, as she hit her 2nd six off Hartley.
Partnership Was Flourishing For India
The cautious approach of the pair were starting to yield results for India as slowly but surely the partnership started to flourish as both the players at the crease were complimenting each other really well. At the halfway mark, India were 92/2, requiring a further 137 runs to win off 150 deliveries. The situation was under complete control. The pair soon brought up their 50-run stand, with the team reaching 100 run mark in the 27th over.
Spending time at the crease was paying rich dividends for both the players, as initial consolidation proved to be effective in getting their flow back. Poonam Raut brought up her 50 off 75 balls. Harmanpreet continued her good form as she reached her half century but her stay was cut short, as she played a sweep over backward square leg, only to be caught in the deep by Tammy Beaumont. That was a huge blow for India at a crucial juncture, giving England more than a sniff.
At 138/3, when Veda Krishnamurthy joined Poonam in the middle, with 91 requiring off 99 deliveries, India was firmly in control of the match and the target of 229 seemed to be well within their reach. Krishnamurthy got herself going right from the word go, taking the odd risk to not let the English bowlers get on top of her, while Poonam Raut kept things steady at the other end.
Raut Gets Out At The Wrong Time
Just when things seemed to get back on track for the side, Shrubsole got the big wicket of Poonam Raut, who was literally the mainstay of India’s batting. Raut fell for a well made 86 off 115 deliveries, which included a six and four boundaries.
Flurry Of Wickets Dent India
England got right back into the contest when Alex Hartley managed to get the scalp of Sushma Verma, with India stuttering at 196/5 in 43.3 overs. India’s 200 came up in the 45th over, with the match really turning on it’s head. More agony was to follow, with Veda Krishnamurthy’s dismissal when she tried to play a slog over mid-wicket, only managing to top edge it and give a simple catch to Sciver. India really did not need this. They could have done it in singles, rather than going for big hits and get out in the process. Jhulan Goswami became the fourth victim of Anya Shrubsole, as she got through the defence of the tall fast bowler, India reeling at 201/7 in 45 over, still needing 28 runs to script a famous win.
Deepti Sharma Kept The Fight On
Deepti Sharma kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely amidst all the hiccups as India’s hopes rested on her shoulders. She was looking to farm the strike through some intelligent cricket.
So Near Yet So Far For India
India seemed to be at the cusp of glory but pressure of a big occasion got the better of them. Shikha Pandey, trying to give the strike back to Deepti got run out, when there was really no run in it. India were 218/8 in 47.3 overs. Needing 11 off 15 deliveries, run rate was not an issue but wickets were. The final nail in the coffin was pushed when Shrubsole picked her fifth wicket, that too of the reliable Deepti Sharma off a slower ball. Deepti was early into the chip shot, mistimed it horribly as she got deceived by the change of pace. England were on the brink of victory, with India still needing 11 runs off as many balls and only 1 wicket at their disposal.
England’s Winning Moment
Shrubsole, who was undoubtedly the pick of the bowlers for, finished things off for her side when she castled the stumps of Rajeshwari Gayakwad to give England their 4th World Cup. Shrubsole ended with superb figures of 6/46 in 9.4 overs.