India shock NZ, meet Aussies in final

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By The Telegraph Online in Durban
  • Published 8.04.05

Durban: Captain Mithali Raj led from the front with a fine unbeaten 91 as India beat defending champions New Zealand by 40 runs, securing their first-ever final berth in the women?s cricket World Cup in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Riding on Player-of-the-Match Mithali?s runs, India, who were put into bat, made 204 for six in 50 overs before bowling out their formidable opponents for 164 in 43.4 overs.

The win set India against Australia in the final, which will be played on Sunday.

Indian seamer Amita Sharma and off-spinner Nooshin Al Khader claimed three wickets each while the tournament?s leading wicket-taker Neetu David also chipped in with two wickets, thus frustrating New Zealand from building any concrete partnership.

The holders lost two quick wickets ? A.L. Mason (0) was run out and R.J. Rolls (8) was bowled by Amita.

Captain Maia Lewis (13) and H.M. Tieffen (11) then offered some resistance but Al Khader?s introduction in the 14th over turned the match in India?s favour.

Mithali, meanwhile, vowed to play the final despite straining her knee while fielding during the match.

?Even if I?m not fit, I?ll definitely play because it?s a dream come true to play a final of the World Cup,? she said.

Brief scores

India 204/6 in 50 ovs (Mithali Raj 91 n.o., Anjum Chopra 44; R. Pullar 4/39). New Zealand 164 in 43.4 ovs (M. Fahey 73 n.o.; Amita Sharma 3/24, Al Khader 3/39). India won by 40 runs. (PTI)