Aussie women qualify for cricket World Cup semi-finals

Kersi Meher-Homji Columnist

By , Kersi Meher-Homji is a Roar Expert

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    This month, we have been so engrossed in State of Origin, Wimbledon and the controversy between Cricket Australia and players’ union that the splendid performances by Australian cricketers in World Cup in England have been largely ignored.

    They have qualified for the semi-finals after thrashing India by eight wickets with 29 balls remaining on Wednesday.

    Sent in to bat, India was at one stage 1-166, opening batter Punam Raut (106) and skipper Mithali Raj (69) adding 157 runs.

    But then wickets started tumbling and India lost their last six for 61 runs to make 7-226.

    During this innings, Mithali became the first woman to reach 6000 runs in ODIs. In 183 matches she has scored 6028 runs at 51.52, with five centuries (highest score 114*) and 49 fifties. In the process, she went past England’s Charlotte Edward’s record of 5992 runs at 38.16 in 191 ODIs.

    But Mithali erred in sending their consistent batter Deepti Sharma at number nine. In the previous two matches, Sharma had top scored with 60 and 78 while batting at No.3 when India was struggling.

    Australia batted brilliantly to reply with 2-227 in 45.1 overs, captain Meg Lanning (76 not out) and Elyse Perry (60 not out) adding 157 runs for the unbroken third wicket partnership.

    Ellyse Perry Australia Cricket Women's 2017

    AAP Image/International Cricket Council

    Lanning was adjudged player of the match.

    The spectacle which enthralled me most during this match was the magical fielding of Australia’s Nicole Bolton when she stopped a sure six by leaping skywards and brought the ball down inside the boundary line. This inspired Aussie bowlers to start taking wickets.

    So far, England’s Tammy Beaumont has scored most runs in this World Cup, 330 at 55.00, closely followed by Lanning, 328 runs at a much superior average of 109.33. Another Aussie, Perry, also has a century average (311 runs at 103.66).

    The bowler of the tournament has been South Africa’s leg-spinner Dane van Niekerk, who has taken 13 wickets at an astounding average of 2.76. This includes her magical spell of 3.2 overs, three maidens, four wickets without conceding a run, seeing the West Indies shot out for 48 runs.

    Apart from Australia, South Africa has also entered the semi-final.

    Two teams from England, India and New Zealand will make semi-finals too, with England most likely, as they meet the poorly performing West Indies.

    The winner of India and New Zealand will be in another semi-final.

    The semis will be on July 18 and 20, with the final at Lord’s on the 23rd.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.

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