Calcutta/Mumbai: England pacer Katherine Brunt said it was Indian captain Mithali Raj’s comments on their bowling that egged them to outperform India in their Group A ICC Women’s World Cup in Mumbai on Sunday. India lost the match by 32 runs.
“Mithali’s comments fired us up, to be honest. We were already up for this game but once those comments were made, we were up even more,” Brunt said at the post-match media conference.
“I think that gave fuel to the fire, and we did a decent job at the start and Holly (Colvin) showed us what a spinner can do when they work hard and tie batters down in the middle there. Everybody has made a contribution and if Mithali was wondering I was the only bowler then it is hard to explain the other 4-5 good bowlers out there today,” she added.
On the eve of the match, India captain Mithali had said: “I think England has got a very good batting line-up but I don’t think they are very strong in their bowling attack other than Katherine Brunt. They heavily depend on her for the breakthroughs. We played England last year as well, most of our batsmen are comfortable playing their bowlers.”
Brunt today scalped four for 29 in her five overs and Indian vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur felt her two wickets in two balls dented India’s hopes.
“I think the quick wickets by Katherine Brunt towards the end turned the match. Till the time Niranjana and Amita Sharma was there it seemed we could have caught up with the increasing run-rate. But then those wickets fell and then I felt it we lost it,” Kaur, who today scored her first century and became the second Indian player to score a century in a World Cup, said.
Chasing 273 to win, India slipped to 29 for three in 7.3 overs but Kaur said the initial breakthrough by the English bowlers did not give them an edge.
“It is not that after we lost three wickets, the game titled in England’s favour, we have quite a long batting order and we tried to spend time at the crease and pace our innings till the end,” she said.
England captain Charlotte Edwards, who became the highest run scorer in women’s cricket with 4901 runs, surpassing Aussie Belinda Clark’s 4,844, said she was pleased with her knock of 109 as she wasn’t in the best of form.“I came into this game not particularly in great form, especially in one-day cricket. So for me to perform when the team needed me today is probably one of my best hundreds in terms of the circumstances. Today was about the team. As for the records, I will look at that when I retire. Belinda Clark is a much better player than me,” she said.
The defending champions are back to winning ways after minnows Sri Lanka caused an upset on Friday and Edwards said: “Today was about character for our team to come out and to play India in India, which was always going to be tough for us.
“I am very proud of the team. Our tournament sort of starts here, and the standards we set today are the ones we want to continue.”