The Indian bowlers did a great job despite Villani and Blackwell fighting knock. In rain curtailed match reduced to 42 over’s side, Indian captain Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to bat. Smriti Mandhana again failed to score 6 runs in 6 balls. At the end of 9 overs, Indian women were 35 for 1. Punam Raut and Mithali Raj added 29 runs for the second wicket before Raut was dismissed for 16. After the power play over’s, Kaur and Raj played slowly with 70 runs on the board in 20 over’s.
Both the batters put on 65 runs for the third wicket which steadied the Indian innings. Raj was dismissed for 36. Harmanpreet Kaur then took the center stage with great power hitting from the right handed batter. She completed her fifty in 64 with a boundary. After that, she tore the Australian bowling attack and her 100 in 90 balls while Deepti Sharma gave her good support. Sharma was dismissed for 25. Kaur continued to plunder Australian bowlers to all parts of the ground.
She completed her next fifty in 17 balls and remained not out on 171 in 115 balls with 20 fours and 7 sixes. The Indian women posted a competitive total of 281 for 4 in 42 overs. Chasing the target of 282, the Australian women got off to a worse start losing an early wicket of Beth Mooney for 1. The captain Meg Lanning came to the crease and was dismissed by experienced Jhulan Goswami to leave Australian eves at 9 for 2.
At the end of the first powerplay, Australian women were struggling at 29 for 3. After the power play overs, Villani and Perry steadied the innings with good hitting from Villani while Perry gave her good support. The power hitter Villani took on the Indian bowlers completing her fifty in 41 balls and continued to play attacking strokes. Both of them added 105 runs before Villani was dismissed for 75.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and Australian women were 169 for 9. Blackwell played a brilliant innings hitting with great power. She completed her fifty in 36 balls and continued to fight till the end before being dismissed by Deepti Sharma for 90. Indian women won the match by 36 runs.
Indian women 281 for 4 in 42 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 171*, A Gardner 1/43) beat Australian women 245 in 40.1 over’s (Blackwell 90, Deepti Sharma 3/59) by 36 runs Captain Mithali Raj said: It was a great knock by Harmanpreet Kaur who just showed her class. Beating the defending Champions Australia is a big achievement. Every player stood up in each of the games and the top order scored according to the conditions.
Player of the match Harmanpreet Kaur said : It is a great feeling to play such a great knock for team India. Before the start of the World Cup, we wanted to reach the semi-finals and then the finals.
India will play England in the finals at iconic Lords Cricket Ground on 23rd July.