The Defending champions Australia outplayed India by 8 wickets at County Ground, Bristol to book a place in the semi-finals of Women’s World Cup 2017. Winning the toss, Australia invited India into bat. Centuries from Punam Raut and Mithali Raj 69 helped India to post 226 for 7 but Meg Lanning and Perry made sure that Australia reached the target with ease.
Australian captain Meg Lanning won the toss and elected to field. The left-handed batter Smriti Mandhana was dismissed 3. Punam Raut and Mithali Raj did not play with intent, not able to rotate the strike enough. At the end of 10 overs, India scored 25 for 1.
After the powerplay overs, Raut and Mithali Raj could not pick singles putting pressure on the Indian team. By completing 34 runs she becomes the leading runs scorer in women’s ODI cricket. Raut completed her half century in 74 balls while Raj completed her fifty in 96 balls. Both the batter put on 155 runs for the second wicket. After Raj’s wicket, Punam Raut completed her first century of her career. She was dismissed for 106. Then the Indian women’s lost wickets at regular intervals and were restricted to 226 for 7.
Chasing the target of 227, the Australian openers Bolton and Beth Mooney started on a positive note scoring 34 runs in the first 10 overs. Both continued to play the Indian spinners well. Bolton was dismissed for 36 as both batters added 62 runs for the first wicket. Meg Lanning and Bolton took singles, hit boundaries. The second wicket of Lanning and Bolton put on 41 runs as the left-handed bat was dismissed for 45.
After that Lanning and Perry smashed the Indian spinners not allowing them to settle. Lanning completed her fifty in 55 balls, remaining not out on 76 while Perry gave her company to remain not out on 56. Australia won the match by 8 wickets with 29 balls to spare.
In other two matches, England defeated New Zealand, South Africa outplayed Sri Lanka.
Australian Women 227 for 2 in 45.1 overs ( Meg Lanning 76*, Perry 56*) beat Indian women 226 for 7 in 50 overs ( Punam Raut 106, Mithali Raj 69, Perry 2/37) by 8 wickets
England Women 284 for 9 in 50 overs ( NR Sciver 129, Beaumont 93, AC Kerr 4/51) beat New Zealand Women 209 in 46.4 overs ( SW Bates 44, KT Perkins 43*, A Hartley 3/44) by 75 runs
South African women 104 for 2 in 23.1 overs ( L Wolvaardt 48*, M du Preez 38*) beat Sri Lankan women 101 in 40.3 overs ( Surganika 25, D Van Niekerk 4/24) by 8 wickets
Captain Mithali Raj said: It was a decent enough total after losing the first wicket during the first few overs. Getting more runs in the middle overs would have been good, but apart from that, it was a competitive total. The Indian spinners could not bowl well. Our next match against New Zealand will be a tough match and we have to raise the quality of cricket.
Player of the match Meg Lanning said: The pitch was on the slower side. It was a good match as we decided to take on the bowling. We are pleased that we have qualified for the semi-finals. From next match onwards, it will high quality cricket as we face South Africa in the next match.
Indian women will face New Zealand in a virtual quarter-finals on 15th July at Derby.