India’s wait for a world title continued as they succumbed to a heartbreaking five-run loss to Australia in the semifinal of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on Thursday, where nerves of Aussies prevailed over top knocks from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues.
Australia is through to the finals. They will play either England or South Africa. Chasing 173, India was off to a terrible start. They lost three wickets before the end of the powerplay.
Megan Schutt started India’s fall of wickets, dismissing opener Shafali Verma for just nine runs. India was 11/1 in 1.3 overs. Ashleigh Gardner delivered another big blow to India, dismissing Smriti Mandhana for just two runs. India was 15/2 in 2.2 overs.
Yastika Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues tried rebuilding for Team India, but Yastika had to go back to the pavilion after a run out for just four runs. India was 28/3 in 3.4 overs, in a huge spot of bother.
India reached the 50-run mark in 5.1 overs.
At the end of the mandatory powerplay after six overs, India was 59/3. The pair of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (28*) and Jemimah (25*) had upped the run rate during the remainder of the powerplay.
Harmanpreet-Jemimah brought up their 50-run partnership in just 31 balls.
At the end of 10 overs, India was 93/3, with Jemimah (39*) and Harmanpreet (33*) unbeaten at the crease.
Just when India was looking threatening, Darcie Brown stepped up to give Australia a breakthrough by dismissing Jemimah for 43 off 24 balls. India was 97/4 in 10.2 overs.
The finisher and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh took to the crease. With her being in fine form, her arrival was a huge moment in the match.
Harmanpreet delivered big time and made a return to form where it mattered the most, bringing up her 10th T20I fifty in just 32 balls, with six fours and a six.
But Australia delivered yet another game-changing moment in the game after Harmanpreet was run out for 52 off 34 balls by the duo of Gardner and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. Half of the Indian lineup was inside the hut for 133 runs.
Deepti Sharma, the all-rounder was next up on crease. At the end of 15 overs, India was 134/5, with Richa (14*) and Deepti (1*) unbeaten. India needed 39 in the final five overs.
Australia got another big scalp of in-form Richa for 14. Darcie took yet another game-changing wicket for the Aussies. India was 135/6 in 16 overs, needing 38 in the final four overs.
At the end of 17 overs, India was 142/6, needing 31 in the final three overs. India crossed the 150-run mark in 17.3 overs with a four from Sneh Rana. In the final two overs, India needed 20 runs.
In the final over, India needed 16. Jess Jonassen had taken the wicket of Rana on the last ball of the 19th over for 11 runs. India was 157/7 in 19 overs. Radha Yadav was dismissed for a duck. India was 162/8 in 19.4 overs.
Shikha Pandey was next up on the crease. But India failed to chase the target, finishing at 167/8 in 20 overs. Shika (1*) and Deepti (20*) were unbeaten.
Darcie ended as the pick of the bowlers for Australia, with 2/18. Gardner took two wickets, while Schutt and Jonassen picked one each.
Earlier, Beth Mooney’s sublime 54 and Meg Lanning’s fiery unbeaten knock of 49 runs propelled Australia to 172/4 against India in the first semi-final at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 here at Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday.
Australia set India a target of 173 to win the first semi-final at Newlands. A half-century from opener Beth Mooney was the stand-out knock, with each of the Aussie top four making good starts.
Opted to bat first, Australia got off to a decent start as Alyssa Healy stroked the first ball of the innings for four to spark a solid opening partnership that made it through the Powerplay unscathed. The duo of Beth Mooney and Healy slammed Indian bowlers all around the ground with their stunning shots.
Healy and Beth Mooney gave Australia a smooth start, 43/0 at the end of the powerplay. India did make a breakthrough, with Radha Yadav tempting Healy down the wicket and Richa Ghosh pulling off the stumping, with Healy departing for 25. But at 78/1 after 11 overs, Australia were confidently pushing on to a big score.
Mooney slammed back-to-back two-fours on Shikha Pandey’s delivery to brought up her half-century in 34 balls. However, Mooney’s stint at the crease came to an end as she was dismissed by Shikha who gave her team a big breakthrough. Mooney reached her half-century and fell just moments later for 54.
Ashleigh Gardner also shifted gear as she joined hands with Lanning to slam Sneh Rana for 14 runs in the 15th over of the innings.
Gardner and Lanning belted India bowlers while slamming 13 runs in the 16th over and 11 runs in the 17th over of the innings. Deepti Sharma provided India with a breakthrough as she dismissed Gardner for 31 runs. In the 19th over Shikha bagged Grace Harris’ wicket to put some pressure on Australian batters.
In the last over of the innings, Lanning hammered Renuka for 18 runs, while slamming two sixes and one four taking Australia’s score to 172/4 in 20 overs.
Brief score: India 167/8 (Harmanpreet Kaur 52, Jemimah Rodrigues 43, Darcie Brown 2/18) lost to Australia 172/4 (Beth Mooney 54, Meg Lanning 49*; Shikha Pandey 2-32) by 5 runs.