It was an action packed day at the ICC Women’s World Cup in England with the last of the round robin matches played out amidst a scramble for the remaining semi-final berths.
Hosts England took on West Indies in their last round robin encounter in Bristol. The England eves had already ensured a semi-final spot while the West Indies were out of contention for one before the game even started. Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor won the toss and elected to field first.
English skipper Heather Knight led from the front with a well made 67 and with the help of valuable contributions from the tail, England finished on a challenging 220 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their 50 overs.
Chasing 221 to win, the West Indies ladies never got going. A sedate opening stand of 37 between Kycia Knight and Hayley Matthew would end up being West Indies’ biggest partnership of the match with only 3 other players crossing the double digit mark. English medium pacer Natalie Sciver’s three wickets were crucial as the West Indies were stranded for 128 for the loss of 9 wickets handing England a 92 run victory.
Elsewhere, the high flying Aussie women took on South Africa in their last encounter. The Australians were assured of a semi-final berth going into the game while South Africa Eves had to win to ensure a semi-final spot. Stand in skipper Rachel Haynes won the toss and elected to bat.
Half centuries from openers Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney provided Australia with a massive platform to build on and a quick fire 55 runs from star Ellyse Perry guided the Aussie Eves to a commanding 269 runs before they were bowled out in the 49th over.
Opener Laura Wolvaardt led the led the reply from the South Africans with a score of 71 but the disciplined bowling and fielding from the Aussies insured that the latter was always in control of the game. South Africa ladies folded for 210 runs in the final delivery of the 50th over handing Australia a 59 run victory but it was still enough for the Proteas to claim the final semi-final spot.
Meanwhile in Leicester, it was a battle of the subcontinent teams with Pakistan eves taking on Sri Lanka. Both the teams had faced a torrid time in the tournament and were looking for their first victory. Sri Lankan Women came out to bat first after winning the toss and thanks to a stylish 84 from wicketkeeper Dilani Manodara finished on an impressive 221 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in their quota of 50 overs.
In reply, the Pakistani eves ran Sri Lanka close but fell short by a mere 15 runs after being bowled out in the 47th over handing Sri Lanka their first victory of the World Cup.
England surrendered a yawning advantage to South Africa on a manic second day at Trent Bridge.
The hosts, hoping to consolidate here after their wide-margin win at Lord’s, will have to do so the very hard way after being bowled out for 205 to concede a first-innings deficit of 130 in this second Test.
South Africa then extended their lead to 205 with a stumps total of 75 for one, as a curiously serene late passage of play broke the mould and yielded a solitary wicket in a daily tally of 15.
TWEET OF THE DAY
After 19 wickets on the fourth day at Lord’s, another 15 fell here on just the second. Overhead conditions played their part, as they often do in Nottingham, and an untypical spinners’ pitch was a key factor at HQ.
Even so, after England were bowled out in little more than 50 overs, it seems few modern-day cricketers retain the capacity to dig in and bat time.
SOUTH AFRICA CAN BOWL
Everyone expected the tourists to miss the banned Kagiso Rabada badly here. They got stuck into England in his absence, though, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel doing the early damage and Keshav Maharaj and Chris Morris completing the job quickly.
With Rabada due back at The Oval, there is an argument that South Africa may even have the better of two quality attacks.
STAT OF THE DAY
700 – James Anderson’s dismissal of Keshav Maharaj took his and Stuart Broad’s Test aggregate tally in partnership to an impressive round figure.
Only Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh have more together as a pace pairing. For good measure, by the time he was done in South Africa’s first innings, Anderson had taken his all-time record Trent Bridge haul to 58 in nine Tests.
More wickets, few boundaries in between, and an early conclusion – with South Africa by far the likeliest winners.
In the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, India took on New Zealand on Saturday in the last round robin game for either team before the knockout stages commence. The two teams squared off in Derby in what was a direct shootout for a semi-final spot.
Kiwi skipper Suzie Bates won the toss and put the Mithali Raj-led Indian side into bat. New Zealand’s fast bowling pair of Lea Tahuhu and Hannah Rowe were effective early on and removed the Indian opening pair of Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana cheaply leaving the Indians tottering at 21-2.
Skipper Mithali Raj then got together with Harmanpreet Kaur to steady the ship as the two put on 132 runs for the third wicket before Kaur, after scoring 60, chipped an easy return catch to spinner Leigh Kasperek.
Deepti Sharma was next to go but Raj got together with Veda Krishnamurthy and took the attack to the Kiwi bowlers as the duo put on a quickfire 108-run partnership for the fifth wicket to push India’s total to over 250.
In the process, Raj completed her sixth ODI century before being eventually dismissed for a masterful 109 while Krishnamurthy’s boundary-laden 70 off just 45 deliveries ensured that India set New Zealand a tough target of 266 runs.
In reply, the Kiwis got off to the worst possible start losing Bates and her opening partner Rachel Priest within the first three overs. Pacer Shikha Pandey had Bates edging to wide slip while Jhulan Goswami took a brilliant return catch to dismiss Priest.
From then on, it was an uphill battle for the New Zealand batting line-up and they never got going as they folded without a fight.
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the destructor-in-chief for the Indian team picking up a fifer in her first match of this tournament.
Gayakwad had been warming the bench for the previous six matches but when the call came in a crunch match, she delivered with aplomb finishing with career-best bowling figures of 5-15.
New Zealand were eventually bundled out for a paltry 79 runs, falling short of the target by a mammoth 186 runs handing the Indian women their first semi-final berth at a major ICC event since 2010.
The Indian team have now won all the four games they have played at Derby and the fact that their semi-final against Australia takes place at the same ground augurs well for them.