Women’s World Cup: Third loss of Cup dents India’s semi-final hopes
India’s path to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals became tougher after their six-wicket loss to Australia on Saturday, as the Meg Lanning-led side became the first to qualify for the last-four stage.
Half-centuries from captain Mithali Raj (68), Yastika Bhatia (59) and Harmanpreet Kaur (57 not out off 47 balls) steered India to 277 for 7 after they were put in to bat.
The 278-run target had never been chased successfully before in the tournament’s history. But Australia’s ominous form and batter-friendly conditions at Eden Park helped them to pull off a record chase as they cruised to their fifth win in as many games.
Openers Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes got Australia off to a flier with a 121-run stand before skipper Lanning (97) took the team to the cusp of victory. Jhulan Goswami needed to defend eight runs off the final over, but Beth Mooney (30 not out of 20 balls) got the job done in the first three balls.
The path to the semis has become tougher for India after their third loss in five games. The runners-up of the previous edition (in 2017) play their remaining games versus South Africa and Bangladesh.
“When you lose, you always feel you are 10-15 runs short. The way Australia started their innings, they were always ahead. Also, our fielders couldn’t back up the bowlers,” Mithali said later. “The batting is something we wanted to improve, and we did. We need to do well in all departments in our remaining games.”