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NL Corresspondent


wilted under pressure in yet another knock-out game after skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's freak run out as defending champions Australia entered their seventh successive Women's T20 Cup final with a five-run win in Cape Town on Thursday.

India's shoddy fielding and catching allowed Australia to post a challenging 172 for four after Meg Lanning opted to bat in the semi-final. At 28 for three, India were down and out but Harmanpreet (52 off 34) and Jemimah Rodrigues (43 off 24) produced a counter-attacking 69-run stand off just 41 balls to bring the team back in the game.

India needed a very gettable 39 off last 30 balls with five wickets in hand but as it has been the case in the past, the team came up short to finish at 167 for eight.  India's Jemimah Rodrigues in action during her action-packed innings of 43 off 24 balls

India had lost to five-time champions Australia in the previous World Cup final and more recently in the CWG final last year. Another loss in a knock out game extended India's long wait for a world title.  Despite losing the destructive Shafali Verma and star batter Smriti Mandhana cheaply, Jemimah and India skipper ensured boundaries.  Harmanpreet, who was a doubtful starter for the do-or-die game due to high fever, got going with a crisp six over long on off Jess Jonassen.

Rodrigues looked in sublime touch from the get go, dispatching Ashleigh Gardner for consecutive fours off her first two balls. Her inside out lofted drives over extra cover off the spinners was the highlight of her innings.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur bats en route a half century

At 93 for three in 10 overs, India were very much on course for a famous win. Jemimah and Harmanpreet's ominous stand ended when the former tried to a guide a slow bouncer off Darcie Brown but ended up edging it to the wicketkeeper.

Harmanpreet, who is known to bring out her best against the Aussies, looked at her vintage best with her sizzling stroke play. Like Jemimah, she too made good use of her feet to get the fours. Australia's Darcie Brown celebrates the wicket of India's Richa Ghosh.  She got to her fifty with back-to-back fours off Wareham in the 15th over before a freak run out brought another twist in the game.

It was a comfortable double but on way to completing the second run, Harmanpreet's bat got stuck in the ground and Alyssa Healy was quick to take the bails off with the Indian out of the crease. That was the turning point of the game. Richa Ghosh was also out going for a big hit while Deepti Sharma (20 not out off 17 balls) as usual couldn't produce big hits in the end.

Australia's Beth Mooney hammered a 37-ball 54 at the top of the order

Earlier, India's shoddy fielding allowed Australia to post a challenging 172 for four in the first semi-final of the Women's T20 World Cup in Cape Town on Thursday. The bowling effort also left a lot be desired as Beth Mooney extended her envious record against India with a classy 54 off 37 balls.

One of the best power hitters in the game, Ashleigh Gardner, hurt India with 31 off 18 balls while skipper Meg Lanning made 49 not out off 34 balls.

Meg Lanning plays a shot as India's Richa Ghosh watches  Australia opted to bat in sunny Newlands and India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who chose to play the knock-out game a day after suffering from high fever, did not seem to mind Lanning's call.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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