This article titled “India beat Australia by 36 runs to win Women’s World Cup semi-final – as it happened” was written by Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins (now) Vithushan Ehantharajah (India innings), for theguardian.com on Thursday 20th July 2017 19.05 UTC
India will play England in a World Cup final at Lord’s
What a day. What a performance. What a contest that will take place this Sunday. Harmanpreet Kaur played one of the great innings: destructive, breathtaking, and full of class. She also had one of the most epic meltdowns when she thought her partner had been run out, which was less elegant, though I enjoyed the passion therein.
171 from 115 balls, though she also finishes with an injury. Was limping between the wickets, and didn’t field. I think the injury cae when she hit the ball into her own foot. Whatever the case, she pointedly avoids the questions from Alison Mitchell about whether she’ll be fit for the final.
Her effort catapaulted India to 281-4 in a reduced innings of 42 overs. The next best score was Raj’s 36. But the economical Australians were mashed. Schutt went at 7 an over. Jonassen went at 9. Villani bowled a single over for 19.
The Aussies were never really in the hunt. The top three went down for 15 between them. Villani then made a fine counterattacking 75 from 58 balls, but was starting from so far behind the pace that Australia needed twice that much. It was an unfair ask. Then Blackwell went huge at the end, but the game was already so far gone that it would have been an utter miracle to haul it back in with one wicket in hand. Pandey and Goswami were vital, where India’s spinners were expected to be key.
So the World Cup final is between India and England, two teams flying high. It’s a sellout. But head down and try to find a ticket, kiss a tout, find a TV set, switch on Test Match Special on the radio, and of course follow along on the Guardian OBO. Be part of history, because it’s going to be made.
WICKET! Blackwell b Deepti 90
It’s all over! Deepti Sharma on, who Blackwell climbed into a few overs ago. This time she spears it towards leg, Blackwell was already charging and trying to pull, and got in a tangle against the faster ball that bobbled through onto her stumps. A magnificent hand from Blackwell comes to an end, smashed in desperation, and it lost out to an even more magnificent one from Harmanpreet Kaur.
40th over: Australia 244-9 (Blackwell 90, Beams 11)
Poonam Yadav bowling, and good enough. Dot ball, driven straight to cover. Blackwell goes big down the ground, but Mona Meshram the sub fielder stops it on the bounce. Beams cuts a single, then the other sub Mansi Joshi can’t stop Blackwell’s punished full toss to midwicket. Harmanpreet and Pandey are both off the ground with minor injuries. Harmanpreet would have been bowling if not. Blackwell can’t get a run from the fifth ball, straight to cover, then farms the strike from the last. 36 needed from 12 balls.
39th over: Australia 238-9 (Blackwell 83, Beams 10)
Here’s a turn-up. Krishnamurthy bowling for the first time in this World Cup. With four overs to go in a semifinal. Raj going for the confusion technique? Blackwell could have garnered a wide first ball, but she gets bat on one down leg, and only gets two from it. Blackwell slams a single to deep midwicket next ball, then Beams cuts two. Flicks one more. Two balls to come. Theoretically they’re leggies. Realistically they’re loosies. Down the wicket Blackwell, pounds through midwicket for four. Single from the last ball. The over costs 11, the equation is 44 off 19.
38th over: Australia 227-9 (Blackwell 76, Beams 7)
Goswami back to try to finish things off. Instead, Blackwell slams a straight drive for four! Gorgeous strike, full power. Slams a similar shot straight to mid off. Then gets a full toss, pulls it for four more! That was so nearly a no-ball for height as well. Would have been an extra run, extra ball and a free hit. Luck with India on that one. Australia need 55 off 24. Another really big over and this could get interesting. Hell, it’s already interesting. And is there a ton on for Blackwell?
37th over: Australia 218-9 (Blackwell 67, Beams 7)
Six! Massive six! Blackwell thunders one into the media centre, and we can feel the bang as it collides with a wall. Gayakward pitches another ball full, and it goes the same way. Not as long this time, but still clears the rope. It’s now 64 needed off 30. Nahhhhh. Right? Nahhhh…
Half century! Blackwell 52 from 36 balls
36th over: Australia 203-9 (Blackwell 53, Beams 6)
Boshed. Blackwell down on one knee and sweeps Poonam Yadav’s leg-break for another four. Her 24th ODI fifty, to go with three centuries. Another fine hand from the Australian veteran. Wants two to cover but only gets one. Beams sticks fat, even gets a couple more runs. But the equation is 79 needed from 36 balls. Not quite gonna make it… are they… ?
35th over: Australia 189-9 (Blackwell 48, Beams 3)
Blackwell nearly holes out to long off, but it lands just short. A single. Beams nails a cut shot, but straight to point. Harmanpreet is off the field, limping but beaming. Blackwell says, “Not done yet, mate.” Smacks four down the ground from Deepti Sharma, that clears Krishnamurthy on the bounce at long on. Then she goes again, bigger, over the rope at wide long on for six! Probably her last World Cup innings, so it’s nice that Alex Blackwell is having fun.
34th over: Australia 181-9 (Blackwell 37, Beams 2)
Blackwell’s flying, and might as well score while she can. Beautiful cover drive with Gayakward’s turn, gets four. Then a sweep that’s saved on the rope with a dive, and three more. Last of the over, Beams is back and cutting between the two fielders behind point, and gets off the mark with a couple.
33rd over: Australia 174-9 (Blackwell 30, Beams 0)
Blackwell finishes the over with a late cut for four. A bit of edge, very fine. But she’s batting with the No11 Beams, so that’s the only thing about this situation for Blackwell that’s fine.
WICKET! Schutt c Goswami b Deepti 2
Australia gallop towards oblivion. Not much Schutt can do other than swing, she comes down the wicket to an off-break and goes leg side. Goswami is at deep midwicket, and is a safe pair of hands.
32nd over: Australia 168-8 (Blackwell 24, Schutt 2)
Thanks Adam. Gayakwad to continue with the left-arm finger-spinning variety. Schutt gets off strike first ball, slapping one to leg. Then Blackwell does what she does, working two right into the midwicket gap. Genius at finding those spots in the field. When Gayakward errs down leg, Blackwell punishes her. Too many loose balls not taken for full value by Australian players today. This one pulled for four.
31st over: Australia 160-8 (Blackwell 17, Schutt 1)
Well what can you say? Blackwell keeps on keeping on, another straight drive follows the wicket. I admire that. Four added. But they probably two boundaries an over from here to be any chance. Which, I can assure you, they are not. With that prognosis, back to Geoff Lemon to drive this OBO – and Australia’s campaign – to the end.
WICKET! Jonassen run out (Goswami) 1 (Australia 154-8)
Oh my, when it isn’t going your way. Blackwell thrashes a straight drive with all the trimmings, but it is too straight. Fingers in the follow through, Jonassen backing up, back onto the stumps – you know how this one ends. Dreadful way to go, but no third umpire required here.
30th over: Australia 154-7 (Blackwell 12, Jonassen 1)
A couple of singles to end the over but the rare required is up to 11 an over and Australia will be lucky to bat out their overs, let alone seriously challenge that. Capitulation, nothing short of it.
WICKET! Gardner c Raj b Poonam 1 (Australia 152-7)
The leggie has got some turn, forced the mistake, and the captain takes the catch at cover! India are going to the World Cup Final! Australia have lost three wickets in three overs and this is done. Blimey. What a performance from the Indians.
29th over: Australia 150-6 (Blackwell 10, Gardner 1)
You’ll have to take my word for it that not much happened in the remainder of this set, because…
WICKET! Healy c Pandey b Goswami 5 (Australia 148-6)
Never a great time for the wifi to die when a wicket is taken, but I can report belatedly that Healy has also holed out, trying to clear the circle down the ground but only going as far as mid-on. Ugly way to end an unconvincing stay from the ‘keeper-bat. Australia in more trouble than the early settlers.
28th over: Australia 147-5 (Blackwell 8, Healy 5)
Deepti to Blackwell, who gets off strike first ball. And that’s a sixth dot for Healy. The run ends there, she finds a single to cover. Away, belatedly. Blackwell immediately turns it back over. Encouragingly, Healy gets on her bike to the last ball, to the pitch and over extra cover for a pressure-release boundary. But the required rate climbs all the same, 9.64 needed now for the World Champs to stay in the comp.
27th over: Australia 140-5 (Blackwell 6, Healy 0)
Well, Healy isn’t a bad option. She’s looked good in limited opportunities. And she has a pop. But goodness me, how is it possible that Ash Gardner is coming in at eight when they need nine an over to win? Healy can’t get off strike though, absorbing four dots to begin. Make that five. Wicket maiden.
WICKET! Perry c Verma b Pandey 38 (Australia 140-5)
There it is! Pandey back and Perry opts to glide at the first time of asking, but it is an edge rather than the face, straight into the gloves of Verma. And with that, Perry’s run of five half-centuries on the spin is done. And maybe Australia’s hopes of a seventh World Cup as well. It’ll take an epic comeback from here with both set players falling in the space of three overs.
26th over: Australia 140-4 (Perry 38, Blackwell 6)
Deepti to Perry initially, but the pattern continues: five singles. Sweepers hit with a minimum of fuss, along the carpet throughout. Oh, I better hit send, because…
25th over: Australia 135-4 (Perry 35, Blackwell 4)
Poonam poses no issues for Blackwell, playing herself in with runs in front then behind the wicket. Perry takes singles to the long-on sweeper twice as well. Good start to the mini-consolidation period. For those playing along, 8.73 now the required rate. Gardner next on that basis alone, surely. (Probably not though).
24th over: Australia 130-4 (Perry 32, Blackwell 2)
Neglected to mention it is Adam again here for the next little while, returning just as that wicket fell. I’m great like that. Ask Mitch Marsh. Blackwell is the new batsman. Perfect time for her to come in an accumulate with Perry. The vice-captain runs, innovates and has eight global tournaments behind her. She knows precisely what is needed from here, both the maths and the tempo. Four singles follow the wicket to highlight the point; they won’t mess around.
Milestone for Perry, meanwhile. What a player. Never made an international ton, remarkably. No better day to set that straight
WICKET! Villani c Mandhana b Gayakwad 75 (Australia 126-4)
Oh no! Villani, from nowhere, holes out! 105-stand with Perry, where they really were cruising, is over. Just like that, Gayakwad has done it. Tried to go over the top again, a shot that has been very effective for her, but miscues into Mandhana’s hands on the circle. The 96-ball stand had Australia, oddly, back in control. But they were only ever a wicket away from stife again.
23rd over: Australia 124-3 (Perry 30, Villani 75)
There is that hundred partnership, with five singles from Poonam Yadav. Milking the bowling much better. That with boundaries mixed in can do it. I’ll hand it back to Adam to see how it goes the next few overs.
22nd over: Australia 121-3 (Perry 28, Villani 72)
Perry finally goes. Short ball from Gayakwad, pulled for four. Singles from the voer as well. Partnership nearing 100.
21st over: Australia 114-3 (Perry 23, Villani 70)
There goes Villani. Down low against Poonam Yadav and reverse-sweeps four. Powerful. “Hard to add power into that shot,” says Ebony Rainford-Brent on TMS. Did that time. Singles too, eight from the over. That’s what they need.
20th over: Australia 106-3 (Perry 22, Villani 63)
Gayakwad drags it back the other way. Perry is the one struggling a bit today. Four dot balls she faces, against the left-armer, before getting a single away. Villani tries to compensate with a loft down the ground, but gets a leading edge towards long off. Mandhana could perhaps have made it or the catch had she moved more decisively, but she hangs back a bit and in the and can only stop it on the bounce, diving, and conceding two. Or saving two. Glass half full?
19th over: Australia 101-3 (Perry 21, Villani 61)
Thanks Adam. And thanks to Elyse Villani, who is playing a gem here. No one has been more critical of her struggles in green and gold, but she’s coming good so far today. First of all, Deepti bowls outside off and Villani slashes it through third man for four. No one behind the wicket really on the off side. Then a better shot, gets all of a ball on the sweep shot, and thumps it between the boundary riders for another one. That takes her to 60, her highest score in ODI cricket. Beating the 59 she made against Pakistan earlier this tournament. The Aussie hundred up too.
18th over: Australia 92-3 (Perry 19, Villani 52)
Well. Boom, BOOM. Villani likes what she sees from Poonam to begin, dancing and swinging cleanly over mid-off for her eighth boundary. The ninth comes next ball, pulled hard between the sweepers with timing that suggests that if anyone is going to do something special from here, it is her. No pressure. And her third boundary of the over caps it, bringing a half-century! A carbon copy of the first, dancing and driving high and strong, once bounce over the rope at long-off. Her tenth boundary. And only 41 balls to get to 50. Well. Do we have another rapid ton on the cards here? 14 from it.
And on that rather positive note, it’s one Australian handballing to another, Geoff Lemon taking the baton for the next little bit.
17th over: Australia 78-3 (Perry 18, Villani 39)
Gayakwad on. Villani likes this, punishing a drive to the cover rope. She’s been heavily maligned in this tournament. And that’s a good thing – women’s cricket needs proper scrutiny and she had a nightmare against England. But that doesn’t mean she can’t seriously play. Feast or famine usually her go, needs to be the former today. Looks well set.
16th over: Australia 72-3 (Perry 17, Villani 34)
Run a ball 50 stand comes up. Has included seven boundaries. Can’t ask much more than that after the brilliant start India had in defence of their 281. Poonam on with her leggies from the City End this over, three comfortable singles taken to the sweepers before a nice bit of fielding on the ring at mid-on ensures that Villani can’t add a fourth. That’s the standard. Back to back tidy overs.
Tickner highlighting that India went at about ten an over from here. Australia have the power for that somewhere, but need to locate it quickly.
15th over: Australia 69-3 (Perry 15, Villani 33)
Gayakwad was yanked after her first over, but is back from the Racecourse End. Love a ground with a Racecourse End, me. Pins Perry back for the most of this over. And that’s cool for Aussie fans. This is what Perry does rather well. Under no circumstances does she hurry early on. Old-fashioned, plays herself in, then pushes up the gears. She collects three runs including a single down the ground to retain the strike.
14th over: Australia 66-3 (Perry 12, Villani 33)
Singles to both before Villani – Junior as they call her in the sheds – again times well, sweeping to the rope. She’s won a player of the match gong alongside a couple of golden globes in this comp. What she’d give for a significant contribution today. They break for a glass of cordial. The required rate is 7.71.
13th over: Australia 60-3 (Perry 11, Villani 28)
Deepti is back and she’s battling this time around. The young gun has 14 taken from the set. It includes one that slips past Verma’s gloves for five wides. Thanks very much. Villani, growing in confidence, goes dancing and makes strong contact over cover. A single behind square keeps her the strike again. Perry doing a lot of watching but that’ll suit. Massive job ahead of her from now until the bitter end, you’d think, if Australia are any chance of finding a way through this. Ash Gardner is going to be big as well. Expect to see her elevated.
12th over: Australia 46-3 (Perry 10, Villani 20)
Shika has been outstanding from the get go. On the money to begin again here, but Villani has enough time to open the face when she misses wide, gliding past point. Her best shot so far. There’s a crowd catch (won’t deny it, I was convinced) that goes down to the penultimate delivery. Villani keeps the strike, scoring again behind point. Boundaries in each of the seven overs. But they still need the better part of eight an over from here.
11th over: Australia 41-3 (Perry 10, Villani 15)
Goodness me, what have I stepped into here? Australia have one foot on QF2. Another wicket here – namely Perry’s – and it’ll be both. And there will be serious questions to answer. Gayakwad on for her first trundle today after a five-for last start against New Zealand. Left-arm orthos. Villani takes one through midwicket, Perry likewise. Villani dropped! Pandey should have taken that at mid-off. False stroke. Tougher on the replay than in real time, but still. Villani had a nightmare with the ball earlier, one over going for 19. Not really her fault – no way she should be bowling in a World Cup semi-final during the Power Play. But it was that kind of innings by Harmanpreet. A lot more on selection later, I suspect.
10th over: Australia 34-3 (Perry 9, Villani 9)
Similar deal. Dot balls, dot balls, then Villani gets a slash past point for a boundary. Single from the last, five from the over. Still too small for this team. I’ll hand you over to the gentleman below for the next few overs.
9th over: Australia 29-3 (Perry 9, Villani 4)
Hmmmm. Perry clips another boundary from Goswami through midwicket, but is otherwise scoreless off the over. Drives to the field, blocks to the bowler. They really need to make use of every delivery here. “Every dot ball they’ll be feeling it,” says former England captain Charlotte Edwards.
8th over: Australia 25-3 (Perry 5, Villani 4)
Elyse Villani next. Had a miserable tournament mostly, two golden ducks, a shocker against England as well, and some harsh assignments with the ball. Needs to stay positive, and she does second ball, skipping down to lift an off-break down the ground. Boundary. Need about 50 more of those.
WICKET! Bolton c&b Deepti 14
Australia in disarray! Deepti Sharma to bowl, having recovered from the rasping dressing-down she was given by Harmanpreet while they were batting. She cheers up immediately, sending down a flighted delivery, which deceives Bolton in the air, and her attempted flick takes a leading edge back to the bowler. Tumbling catch, thought Deepti had shelled it for a moment, but she’s held on. Load up the Good Griefification machine again.
7th over: Australia 21-2 (Bolton 14, Perry 5)
Goswami continues, the batsmen trade singles. Then Gos gets a bit short, and Bolton cracks a pull shot for four. That’s her area: cut, pull, and that’s about it a lot of the time. Drives off the outside edge to third man.
6th over: Australia 14-2 (Bolton 8, Perry 4)
Ellyse Perry has had the relative luxury of being the backbone for Australia during this World Cup, making half-centuries at a relatively sedate pace. She can’t so much do that today, they’ll need a more dynamic showing. She starts with a boundary clipped through midwicket, but is tied down by Pandey thereafter.
5th over: Australia 9-2 (Bolton 7, Perry 0)
With apologies to Richie Benaud’s rule against hyperbole, a disastrous over for Australia. A disastrous start. They needed to be 40-0 after five. They… are not that.
WICKET! Lanning b Goswami 0
Bowwwwwwwlazo! Bowlazo! The best player in the world is gone for a duck! It’s Bradman at The Oval for a new era. Lanning remains on 2999 runs for two games running, unable to find that 3000th run in close to the toughest match situation of her career. Goswami has pace, she has accuracy, and a tentative push forward from the injured Lanning is not enough to stop that ball from bursting through onto the stumps. Goswami roars like a lion. India have played like them.
4th over: Australia 8-1 (Bolton 6, Lanning 0)
Bolton is really struggling against Pandey. Falls over, pokes about, can’t connect, can’t beat the field. Finally a single from the fifth ball of the over. Pandey right on the spot. Lanning can’t score.
3rd over: Australia 7-1 (Bolton 5, Lanning 0)
Pressure. Australia needs a fast start, and Goswami only gives them a single. Beats the outside edge of Lanning with a snorter. Time to give this one another run.
2nd over: Australia 6-1 (Bolton 4, Lanning 0)
Lanning in at the crease already. The best player in the world, but hampered by that heavily strapped shoulder. Can she do it?
WICKET! Mooney b Pandey 1
Huge! The immediate setback for Australia. Shikha Pandey strikes, outswing delivery, Mooney plays the wrong line and off stump goes out of the ground.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Bolton 3, Mooney 1)
How will Australia approach this? Bolton and Mooney opening. Thought perhaps a pinch-hitter might have come up the order, but they’re trying to stay calm. Huge appeal, not given. But Bolton would have been out if Goswami had decided to go upstairs. Hitting the top of middle as Bolton was surprised by pace and tried to jam the bat down. Quiet over, they need a big start Australia. But a big slice of fortune there.
Wow. Wowwitty wozzitty wow. Wowselators. Good griefification. I don’t even remember English words any more. That was such a thrilling performance, adrenaline is filling my brain capsules. Adrenaline, nice name for a girl. She might grow up to bat No4.
The ground DJ greeted that innings with The Greatest, by Sia. Fair call. I’ve had the privilege of being there for Atapattu’s 178* against the Australians a couple of weeks ago, then this knock today. Can’t get a burnt match in between them: one a solo hand played with no support, the other done when the stakes could not have been higher. Well, they could be. In the final in Sunday. Which is where India will be going unless Australia can produce something (in the gravelly growl of Bruce Macavaney) speeeecialllll.
That’s it from me. I need a lie down. Geoff Lemon will be here soon.
AUSTRALIA REQUIRE 282 TO WIN
42nd over: India 281-4 (Kaur 171, Krishnamurthy 16) Bit of finesse in case you forgot Kaur could do that. Carves one behind point neatly. Clouts a few down the ground, too, but is a bit crook and needs to jog those ones. Veda takes over though, slapping over point to finish things. FYI – when Kaur reached 50, her next 121 runs came off 51 balls (14 fours, six sixes in that). 81 runs from the last six overs! Charlotte Edwards – high queen of cricket – has just walked in, stunned. “I’ve not seen them [Australia] rattled like that!”
41st over: India 268-4 (Kaur 165, Krishnamurthy 9)
Two sixes in a row. Just don’t bowl there. Or anywhere. Take a break. Go for a walk. Sing the songs that you want to sing. Just don’t bowl to Harmanpreet Kaur. Two sixes, both picked up from outside off, both gunned over square leg and over the Indian squad sat a few feet from the adverstising boards. Slappage of the highest order.
150 UP FOR KAUR – 200 in the offing, surely…
40th over: India 249-4 (Kaur 151, Krishnamurthy 5)
An email from the mighty Rob Smyth: “Kaur was 41 from 61, so as I type she’s score 104 from the last 44!” FREAK. Power Play ends with an over without a boundary. WAH?
39th over: India 243-4 (Kaur 149, Krishnamurthy 1) Oh my days. She’s still going. Elyse Villani into the attack – yeah, me neither – starts with a wide and Sharma runs a by to get Kaur on strike. Then a wide short ball is swept to square leg for six! It means she has 101 from the last 41 balls she’s faced in this partnership! Unreal. A four through cover and a dab to leg gets Sharma on strike and then out. Ends with Sharma slapping one through midwicket – full bunger, by the way – for four. That’s 50 off three overs. Kaur’s also more than doubled her tournament tally with this innings.
WICKET! Sharma b Villani 25 (India 238-4)
Ah well, Villani was always going to get one after we bagged her for coming in on the Power Play. Tonked by Kaur but gets Sharma. That’s 137 for fourth wicket off 87 balls. Kaur has 106 of them.
38th over: India 224-3 (Kaur 134, Sharma 25) A 14th bowling change of the innings as Megan Schutt takes the second over of Power Play, from the Racecourse End. Sharma rushes to get off strike and is nearly run out at the bowler’s end. She just, just makes it in. Then it’s back to the Verbal Harman Monster. The Score Enhancer. Sick of phoney bowlers trying to control the Kaur. Two fours, one through extra cover, the other over it. Two overs of Power Play and that’s 31 off it.
37th over: India 215-3 (Kaur 126, Sharma 28) Right, Power Play taken. Just the four overs because this is a 42-over affair. The crowd bellow “WE WANT SIXER” – an IPL staple – and Kaur obliges. The first just makes it onto the sponge. The second clears it – both at square leg – to bring up the century partnership off 72 balls. Kaur has 77 of them! Gardner decides to bowl two wide of off-stump. So Kaur goes through extra cover. No matter. Finishes with two and that’s 23 off the over.
36th over: India 102-3 (Kaur 104, Sharma 23)
After 11 scoring shots, Schutt manages to get away two dots in a row to Harmanpreet Kaur. Doesn’t get a third though, as Kaur threads a drive through extra cover. Different gravy.
DELAY TO PROCEEDINGS – Middle stump at the City End is bust
A modern delay, this. Can’t replace it with a normal stump because it would break the circuit. So they need the flash new one, which they’ve had to call in from a safe somewhere.
In the meantime, the DJ is playing a few shots:
HARMANPREET KAUR GETS TO HER 3RD ODI HUNDRED
35th over: India 185-3 (Kaur 100, Sharma 20) What a way to get there! Ridiculous. First a shuffle and slap through midwicket for four. Then, last ball – her 90th – she scampers two. But Sharma’s not playing ball. But they’ve thrown to the wrong end! But Healy, smartly, has a glove off and throws down the stumps where Sharma’s desperately trying to get back. It’s thrown to the TV umpire and Harmanpreet chucks her gloves and bad down and sprays her partner. And then, confirmation… 100! What a damn fine knock that is. The last 50 came up off 26 balls.
Oh and she hit the 100th six of the Women’s World Cup!
34th over: India 175-3 (Kaur 92, Sharma 18)
Unreal from Kaur. What a RIDICULOUS talent. Skips down and pongos Jonassen, around the wicket, high over long on for six. Then, advancing again, she readjusts to wrist one behind square, beating fine leg in the circle and deep square leg. Magic darts.
33rd over: India 160-3 (Kaur 78, Sharma 17) Gorgeous from Kaur. Beams has no real place on the ball yet somehow Kaur square drives her through cover point for four. She’s playing for Surrey Stars in the Kia Super League, by the way. Go see her if you’ve got any sense.
32nd over: India 152-3 (Kaur 72, Sharma 15) Now Double J is taken downtown by Harmanpreet Kaur, who finds a gap between midwicket and wide longon (fielders in both positions, fyi. Class shot). Has she got another? Yes she has. Good work on the third man fence isn’t good enough. Awful shot from Kaur – hacked edge squirting awa. But they all count. That last 52 has come up in 45 balls, by the way.
Well done to all involved for this, by the way
31st over: India 142-3 (Kaur 63, Sharma 14)
Interesting turn of events… now the seamers are getting some tap. Well, singular: Perry. A few wides to Kaur – the left-right combination putting the bowlers off enough – then sees Perry dig one short which the right-hander larrups around the corner for four.
30th over: India 132-3 (Kaur 57, Sharma 12) Garnder picks up after drinks and his swept around the corner for her troubles. Straying a bit onto the pads but it’s still an excellent shot from Sharma, who moves to double figures.
29th over: India 126-3 (Kaur 56, Sharma 7) Spin is getting knocked about so Perry comes into the attack for her first bowl from the City End. Still, these two are hustling well to pinch six off the over with a well run two at the end.
28th over: India 120-3 (Kaur 54, Sharma 3) Just getting a bit ragged out there for Australia. India starting to put a bit back on them. Deepti Sharma, 19, precocious, gun – won’t wait around. Five skittish singles off the over.
HARMANPREET MOVES TO HER 10TH ODI FIFTY
27th over: India 115-3 (Kaur 51, Sharma 1) What a couple of deliveries. Beams bowls the worst ball known to humankind – out of her hand and over the head of first slip. No ball called and the free hit is slapped high and gorgeous over midwicket. Then, a square four takes Kaur to fifty off 64 balls. Safe to say the move to number four has worked:
26th over: India 102-3 (Kaur 40, Sharma 0) Ashleigh Gardner runs through an over for just one as Kaur profits off a misfield at point.
25th over: India 101-3 (Kaur 39) The 100 is up but it’s not convincing and, perhaps, should have led to Raj’s demise. She pierced the hands of midwicket for the two that took them to three figures. No matter, Beamsly does it.
WICKET! Raj b Beams 36 (India 101-3)
Beams gets her woman! Googly? Perhaps. Certainly seemed to give Mithali Raj the impression she could cut just before it pitched. Instead, she gives it room to hit middle and off, which it does.
24th over: India 96-2 (Raj 33, Kaur 37) Gardner replaces Jonassen, though that might be for a cheeky change of ends as I reckon they’ll give Schutt a blow and bring back JJ, perhaps. Three taken.
23rd over: India 93-2 (Raj 32, Kaur 36) Real good from Kaur, who picks up her third boundary in as many overs with a ramp over her and the keeper off the returning Megan Schutt. Looks in the mood today, does Harmanpreet. Good afternoon to Peter Salmon: “Great to see that Raj has not only read the Hussain book, but absorbed it. Out for about 30 off 83 balls?” In that territory now, Peter. That being said, a single takes her ahead of Beaumont.
22nd over: India 85-2 (Raj 31, Kaur 30) Fifty partnership up in this over off 75 balls between these two. Raj also draws level with Tammy Beaumont as the tournament’s leading run-getter.
21st over: India 77-2 (Raj 29, Kaur 24) Suns out and, finally, the boundaries are too. We had to wait 45 balls for this four, smoked through midwicket with a slog sweep by Raj.
20th over: India 70-2 (Raj 28, Kaur 19) Jess Jonassen replaces Perry. Don’t mind this. Mix up the bowlers. Don’t ket the batsmen think they’ve got someone’s number. Only irritating thing is the constant changes in the field. Lanning doesn’t really seem to know what she wants. Might be worth getting a slip in for the sake of it?
19th over: India 65-2 (Raj 25, Kaur 17) Good from Beams. Tentative from Kaur and Raj. It’s almost like they don’t trust the pitch which is actually playing pretty well. Might also be Beams’ gurn as she bowls. Could be quite off-putting.
18th over: India 63-2 (Raj 24, Kaur 16) Four singles to Perry is a better way to go about things. Both batsmen pick up two, as Perry serves up a few cutters to keep them guessing.
17th over: India 59-2 (Raj 22, Kaur 14) Beams equally as frugal. Just two from the over as both bats can’t decide how they want to play her. Probably could try and get her around the corner a bit more.
16th over: India 57-2 (Raj 21, Kaur 13) Perry back into the attack from the Racecourse End, hitting the bat hard. Kaur hitting the ball equally as forceful. Both times straight back at the bowler, both times stopped. Neat battle unfolding…
15th over: India 55-2 (Raj 20, Kaur 12) Over before the drinks break we’re treated to a bit of Kristen Beams. Three from the over, even with a full toss thrown in there. Dangerous delivery from leggies this World Cup.
14th over: India 52-2 (Raj 18, Kaur 11) Tidy from Gardner. Yet to concede a boundary and two overs worth of dots in her first three overs.
13th over: India 49-2 (Raj 16, Kaur 10) That’s the Harmanpreet Kaur we’ve heard about. Clean hitter, down the ground we heard – clean hits through cover and straight we see. Quality.
12th over: India 41-2 (Raj 16, Kaur 2) Gardner carrying on, three on the off side, hefty whack on leg. Single apiece. They do this, India. Strokemakers for days but do shut-up shop for no real reason. This isn’t a bad start.
11th over: India 39-2 (Raj 19, Kaur 1) Megan Schutt back on from the City End, ball still shaping but she’s got a bit more control on it. Kaur dots out after being given the strike by Raj.
10th over: India 36-2 (Raj 13, Kaur 0) A few in this box thought Garnder should have bowled ahead of Jonassen (knowledgeabe sorts here today). That’s a very tidy opening from her, not to mention the wicket with the second ball. Raj pinches the strike off the final ball.
WICKET! Raut c Mooney b Gardner 14 (India 35-2)
I mean, it’s a cracking shot. Ashleigh Gardner’s right arm offie is met with a skip and a thwack over the top of midwicket. The trouble is, there’s a fielder out there. Literally right there. A simple catch and Raut’s gone.
9th over: India 35-1 (Raut 14, Raj 12) Jonassen bowls a few darts, so Raj just treats her like a medium pacer. Uses her feet, down to the pitch, over the top of the bowler, for four runs. That’s the first Power Play done. Solid one from India, albeit for the loss of a gun. 39 dots in those 54 balls, by the way. Three wides, too.
8th over: India 30-1 (Raut 13, Raj 8) The floodlights are on as it’s got a bit dark here:
Raj’s first boundary is a beaut, punishing Perry for going at her and driving inside mid on for four.
7th over: India 23-1 (Raut 11, Raj 3) Schutt shot out of the attack and Jess JonassIN. The left-arm spinner as nine victims this World Cup and she fancies getting to double figures in this over as Alex Blackwell – elder stateswoman – puts on the helmet and comes into short cover. “Oldest Australian close-catcher since Chris Rogers?” askes more knowing voice.
6th over: India 21-1 (Raut 10, Raj 3) Very good from Perry, who has rediscovered her bowling touch at the perfect time. Wonder if she fancies the slope at Lord’s on Sunday? Pav End, skip. Meanwhile, this is excellent (context: Raj reckons she’d have a few more runs at a quicker lick if she had more proactive teammates around her):
5th over: India 21-1 (Raut 10, Raj 3) Schutt strays – short and angling down the leg side – and Raut helps her around the corner for four. Over-correction on the next delivery gives a wide on the off-side. When she’s able to bring her line in a bit, Raut sees out the over with a dab inside third man for four. “Wishing MITHALI Raj and the entire team unprecedented success today,” writes Kiran Mavani from Ahmedabad. Thanks for reading in, Kiran. Wouldn’t mind nothing but Raj drives for the next two hours.
4th over: India 12-1 (Raut 2, Raj 3) A fine bumper from Perry is followed bythe first runs in 12 balls as Mithali Raj drives through backward point for a couple. Could have been a couple more had the fileder at third man not whisked her way around and put in the dive. So does Raut, too, when she tips and runs to Meg Lanning at mid off. Lanning’s shoulder means she’s been underarming for the last two years (ish) and this under-arm is comically high over the stumps.
3rd over: India 8-1 (Raut 1, Raj) Really harsh wide against Megan Schutt, who serves up an away swinger to complement her regular innies. Seen a few of those this World Cup, notably in the South Africa-England semi-final against Marizanne Kapp. Well inside the lines, was Kappie. Would have meant five needed from the final over instead of the three England were asked. Still would have won with Shrubsole’s ping through the covers for four, mind.
2nd over: India 7-1 (Raut 1, Raj 0) Very tidy start from Perry, who a press box colleague informs me is opening the bowling for only the second time this World Cup. Good pace, better carry and just one run from the over as Raut nabs a single via an inside edge to midwicket. Mithali Raj, champion superstar, defends out.
1st over: India 6-1 (Raut 0) Megan Schutt with the new ball, Smriti Mandhana to face, with more covers in place than a post hotel bed. And it’s one of those four that ends up taking the catch. An uppish drive started us off, through extra cover for four. Then a stop at point was botched allowed two runs. Relative incompetence all round, to be fair.
WICKET! Mandhana c Villani b Schutt 6 (India 6-1)
Oh Smriti, that’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty rancid. Schutt’s swinging the ball away from the left-hander but that doesn’t really matter here: Mandhana’s trying to play this over midwicket and then gets caught in two minds and skews it high to cover. Junk shot, big wicket.
Players on the way out. Adam Collins Tweet bunged in here simply for the use of “flogging”.
FYI: 42 overs breaks down into nine overs of Power Play up top and then a four-over batting Power Play to come.
India win the toss and bat!
It’s 42-a-side (overs, not players – this isn’t a madhouse) and we get underway at 1345. Australia are unchanged from their match against India back in the group stages, which means Meg Lanning plays. Shoulder still attached. Let’s take a moment of reflection for the undroppable Elyse Villani.
Australia: B Mooney, N Bolton, M Lanning, E Perry, E Villani, A Blackwell, A Healy, A Gardner, J Jonassen, M Schutt, K Beams
India: S Mandhana, P Raut, M Raj, H Kaur, D Sharma, V Krishnamurthy, S Verma, J Goswami, S Pandey, R Gayakwad, P Yadav
42 overs a side to start at 1345 (to be confirmed)
Bit of sun out, too. Absolute hashtagscenes.
INSPECTION MOVED FORWARD TO 1315…
So the sun is out and the the overs are off. The soppers are doing the business, so much so…
In other news, have a look at this England squad…
Still no room for Mark Stoneman. How?!
This is getting a workout as the rain returns:
Inspection at 1345
Yeah, really. I mean, it makes sene – this ground takes time to dry and there is a lot of surface water to remove. Plus, we can toss 15-minutes before play actually gets underway.
To reiterate, we can get a 20-over game in at 16:38 the latest.
In lieu of any cricket, allow me to be a bit self-indulgent.
Now, one of the very few downsides of this job is the Saturdays. Or lack of. It means my club cricket career has died on its backside. Just as I was learning to love. Anyway, it now means I live vicariously through my club’s Facebook page and WhatsApp group. I also find myself falling down YouTube wormholes of club cricketers netting and the odd side-on camera of some 70mph chancer gunning for a Northants gig. Then I came across Isfield Cricket Club. I want to say it’s their 3rd XI based on the chat. Basically, their keeper straps on a GoPro and puts the best bits online. Do as I do and get sucked in:
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Raf Nicholson’s work, I’d suggest following her on Twitter, especially if you want to brush up on all things women’s cricket. We call her the Oracle. She’s also an accomplished basoonist.
As well as writing for a range of outlets, she runs CRICKETher, a one-stop shop for her output. In this piece, she quantifies just how big a deal a sold-out Lord’s is for the Women’s World Cup final.
Strong tweet, this. Make it happen, weather…
The elements around that knock are really quite something when you look back on them. Agnew panning Nasser’s ODI record (rightly so, probably). There’s fascinating insight in his book about that period, not least the levels of doubt he was experiencing as his career came to an end. He’d wake up in the middle of the night and fiddle with his grip. Shadow batting relentlessly in his hotel room. Mithali’s got the right idea – go get it. Or watch this:
Unchartered areas: Nasser has good bant.
“This match will do well to rival Tuesday’s thriller,” writes Stephen Cooper. You’re telling me. I think I’ve just about recovered. I made the cardinal sin of welping when Jenny Gunn hit a shot through midwicket. Can’t be cheering in a press box. I need to undergo some form of penance. Maybe I’ll stay in Derby for another couple of nights (I jest, it’s been good to me on this trip). “I’m looking to India to raise their game today to match the occasion, and hopefully beat the Aussies…”
We’ve got a bit of an update by the way. Stick with me:
– The latest we can get a Twent20 game in is t 16:38.
– Whatever play is agreed upon (and started) is continued tomorrow if the rains return and wash out the rest of the day
– However, if play is agreed – say, 34-overs-a-side – but not a ball is bowled, we’d return tomorrow for the full 50.
– ITK: This ground takes two hours to dry. And it’s still raining.
Good morning from a very soggy Derby. There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that we won’t necessarily need this reserve day tomorrow. The bad news is that not only is it still raining, no one has a clue what the exactly’s going on. We’ve been informed of three different sets of regulations, each slightly more nuanced than the last. It’s been a bit odd. The ground itself is very soggy. There are puddles, mushy bits and some mud pools that look like they’d do wonders for your skin.
If you’ve read Adam’s preview, you’ll know the score. Australia, favourites, in disarray with the dicky shoulder of Emperor Lanning. India, led by Chez Raj, destined for revolution but with less firepower but some of the craftiest players in the game. Should be a doozy. If, you know, we get a sudden heatwave that last a solid three hours and dries up this mess:
Vish will be here shortly. In the meantime you can read Adam Collins’s preview of the second semi-final …
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