England Top Group and India Book Semi Finals Spot

 

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This past Saturday saw the final group games taking place in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup – as hosts England topped the overall standings ahead of Australia and South Africa, while India beat New Zealand in a ‘shootout’ for the remaining Semi Final spot in Derby. Meanwhile, Pakistan made it back to back tournaments in which the Country have failed to register a single point in any of their group games since the 2009 Tournament held back in Australia.

Before the final round of games on Saturday – it saw South Africa starting the day on top following their easy win over the Sri Lankan’s on Wednesday and, with their run rate given a health boost too in the victory it saw the Proteas leading the way. In the case of Australia and England, both were still in with a chance of finishing top and knew a win and result at the other match would see one of the three sides topping the standings. While the Aussies faced the South Africans down Taunton in Somerset, England met the West Indians in Bristol and the sight of their dramatic win six days ago against Australia when they squeezed a three run win.


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SOUTH AFRICA 210 ( Wolvaardt 71 / Haynes 2-12/ Jonassen 2-40)  
     AUSTRALIA 269 (  Bolton 79   Luus 5-67)                                                       

AUSTRALIA WON BY 59 RUNS 

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Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp congratulate a Wicket- Pic ICC World Cricket

Starting at the County Ground in Somerset, whoever prevailed in the top of the table encounter between the two, it meant that if England would lose their game in Bristol then the victors would top the standings overall. Australia batted first and saw their captain Meg Lanning missing in the contest following her troublesome shoulder injury, so stand-in Captain Rachael Haynes came in to replace the normal skipper. 

 

The Australian pairing of Beth Mooney and Nicole Bolton saw the Aussie batsmen putting on an unbeaten opening stand of a hundred for the opening wicket and saw the ‘Southern Stars’ duo dominating the South African bowlers for the first 20 overs of the game. Ayabonga Khaka then made the breakthrough through for South Africa in the 21st over, as her delivery clipped Beth Mooney’s off stump and sent the opener back to the dugout for a knock of 53. Rachael Haynes then made no impression at all on the scoreboard for her side, as she made a six-ball duck with Dane van Niekerk taking a the caught bowled to leave Australia 117-2.

Sune Luus of South Africa then had the Aussies in a spot of trouble, as the spinner took two wickets in two balls to have the Aussies rocking a bit, with Nicole Bolton trying to smash a full toss away and instead ended up finding Marizanne Kapp in the field to make the catch and go on 79. On the following ball, it saw a delivery landing around the legs of Elyse Villani and see her out for a duck. Ellyse Perry saw her form with the bat continuing on in this tournament, as after previous scores of 70 against England and then 60 v India during the week, she added another 55 runs to her overall total of 366, before Luus got her pulling at a ball and finding Kapp who took the catch.

After Perry departed for the Aussies, it then saw Alex Blackwell going for 33 and saw a mini collapse for the World Champions, as they lost their final four wickets for just 34 runs and set their opponents a total of 270 for victory. Sune Luus was the pick of the bowlers with a five-wicket haul for 67 runs, while Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk both picked up a brace of wickets too for their efforts.

South Africa in reply to Australia’s 269 – saw them losing Lizelle Lee early in the Innings for 9 runs off the bowling of Jess Jonassen. Laura Wolvaardt then moved onto her half century with a crushing blow that went for four and saw her leading the reply for the Proteas. Trisha Chetty was then run out for 37 after a terrific throw came in from the boundary off Ellyse Perry –  to which Alyssa Healy quickly whipped off the bails and claimed the second South African wicket.

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Ashleigh Gardner of Australia Appeals for a wicket – Pic: ICC World Cricket

Just as Mignon du Preez and Wolvaardt looked to be steadying the ship for the Proteas, du Preez then tried to slog a full toss away for six off the step-in Australian Captain in Haynes, but Ashleigh Gardner who was coming in off the ropes saw her making the catch and seeing South Africa going three-wickets down. Two overs later saw Laura Wolvaardt entertaining Innings of 71 coming to an end, and was almost a carbon copy of the previous dismissal that got rid of du Preez, with Wolvaardt going big and having Gardner taking the catch.

 South Africa then suffered a middle-order batting collapse that saw four wickets falling for just three runs. Firstly, Marizanne Kapp was brilliantly run out by an Alex Blackwell direct hit for 19 and with Dane van Niekerk falling next, after she unluckily played on for 1 it saw Sune Luus edging soon after from an Ellyse Perry ball to the keeper and finally saw Ayabonga Khaka trapped LBW by Perry next ball, to see the Proteas go from 148-4 to now 165-8.  

 

Kristen Beams bowled Masabata Klaas out for 9 and that soon saw the Australians rounding the match over with the final ball of the Innings courtesy of Megan Schutt who saw Shabnim Ismail trying to hit her over the top and could only hit it towards Elyse Villani for a comfortable catch and seal the win for Australia and send them into the Semi Finals with back to back wins.


 

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                        WEST INDIES ( Matthews 29 / Sciver 3-3 )                                          
ENGLAND  ( Knight 67  / Fletcher 3-33 )

ENGLAND WON BY 92 RUNS 

England knew that a win and a good win would see them finish top no matter what happened at Taunton. The home side came out to bat first and yet again their top order again failed to fire as they would have liked, as Lauren Winfield was caught out by Hayley Matthews near the boundary rope for 11 off the bowling of Qiana Joseph to see an early breakthrough for the Windies. England’s Wicket-keeping batsmen Sarah Taylor saw her poor run of form continue with the bat, as she edged behind a Deandra Dottin delivery to slips and have Matthews taking a big catch in the game. 

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Heather Knight smashes a ball away- Pic: ICC Cricket

Tammy Beaumont and top run scorer of this World Cup Tournament to date, saw her and England Captain Heather Knight calmly moving proceedings on for the home side until Beaumont attempted a scoop shot that she got terribly wrong and resulted in the ball going straight up in the air and have the England opener missing out on yet another half-century with 42. The heroine from Wednesday’s game v New Zealand in Centurion Natalie Sciver, saw her failing to score this time out with an Afy Flecther delivery bowling her for a two-ball duck.

Fran Wilson was the next victim for Afy Fletcher after the West Indies spinner asked for a review of the not out decision against Wilson to be looked at and saw the umpire’s call being overturned and leave England five-down for 105. Katherine Brunt and Heather Knight then started to rebuild up the hosts total again after a shaky first half to their Innings, but Brunt was soon out stumped for 14 after Anisa Mohammed managed to spin the ball that beat the bat and have Merissa Aguilleria taking off the bails.

Knight was then bowled by Matthews for 67 and that saw the England captain helping her side getting the score up towards the mid-170 mark before heading back to the team dugout and that made the side push on. Jenny Gunn and Laura Marsh then put on an unbroken partnership of 48 to take the hosts passed the 200 mark and finish on 220-7 after 50 overs, with Gunn not out on 24 and Marsh on 31, to give them a very good total to defend after such a poor start by the home side. At the end of the England Innings, it saw Hayley Matthews down on the ground in pain for the West Indies, with the opening batter suffering from a touch of cramp.

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Nat Sciver appeals for an LBW decision: Pic – ICC Cricket

As the Windies opened their Innings, it saw Matthews starting very slowly and almost like she wanted to try and avoid aggravating her discomfort. With England’s opponents starting to click into gear, it then saw Kycia Knight being run out for 17 to give the hosts their first wicket and early joy in the Innings. Laura Marsh then trapped Stafanie Taylor for 0 with an LBW decision and saw Alex Hartley doing the same to Matthews later on in the 23rd over, as the opener left the game for 29.

 

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Alex Hartley celebrates taking a wicket in England’s win over the Windies – Pic: ICC Cricket

The West Indies then lost their fifth wicket after the dismissal of Deandra Dottin for 7, after Heather Knight managed to get her out LBW and that began to see a pattern taking shape looking down the Windes scorecard. Natalie Sciver who failed perform with the bat saw her making up for it with the ball, as the England bowler was the top wicket taker for the home side in the game as she claimed three wickets in the match. Her first wicket saw Chedean Nation trying a pull shot off Sciver, but her attempted shot found Tammy Beaumont making a running catch to see the back of Nation as she was out for 23.

Next out was Merissa Aguilleira for 8, with Sciver getting her out with an LBW and repeated the feat a few overs later as she got Afy Fletcher out the same way too for 3 and have the West Indies teetering on 99-7. Things got not no better for them, as soon after Katherine Brunt got Akiera Peters out LBW for 0, it saw the Windies just getting past the triple figures mark as the nine-wicket went down. Anya Shrubsole completed the comprehensive win for England in the 48th over of the match, with the wicket of Anisa Mohammed for 14 as she fell to an LBW decision too and have the host nation picking up their seventh Leg Before Wicket dismissals in the match and cement their place as table toppers in the standings.


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                        India Women  265-7   (Raj 109  /  Kasperek 3-45)                              
                   New Zealand  (Satterthwaite 26 / Gayakwad 5-15)

INDIA WOMEN WON BY 186 RUNS 

The match with more riding on it pitted India and New Zealand against each other in what was effectively an unofficial ‘Quarter-Final’ clash between the sides at Derby’s County Ground and determine who would make semi-finals. New Zealand made a couple of early breakthroughs in the Indians Innings, as Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana were both out cheaply and that saw India on 21-2 after 7 overs gone. 

One of the stars of this year’s tournament and someone who recently became the highest-run scorer in Women’s International Cricket ever, after she passed the record of England’s Charlotte Edwards, saw Indian’s run-machine Mithali Raj and also Harmanpreet Kaur repairing the damage of the early wickets to see the Indians moving past the hundred runs mark. Kaur was then out for 60 after she was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek and had the Kiwi bowler forced to juggle the ball before making the catch. 

Deepti Sharma then fell for no score, as she edged behind and saw a brilliantly low taken catch by Rachel Priest off the bowling of Hannah Rowe to see another Indian wicket going down. Veda Krishnamurthy looked very much like a woman in a hurry during her Innings, as she struck a couple of massive sixes along with boundaries as she built up a partnership with Raj out in the middle and saw India posting a huge total. Mitahli Raj then ran for two to help bring up her century and 6th One Day hundred in her career. 

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Indian’s run machine Mithali Raj piles on the run to help India qualify for Semi-Finals – Pic ICC Cricket

Raj then saw her Innings come to conclusion in the final over, with the Indian Batsman skying it up high and having Amy Satterthwaite coming into make the catch off Leigh Kasperek bowling for 109 and have India 262-5. Krishnamurthy was then run out for 70 on the penultimate ball of the Innings, while the last ball saw Kasperek picking up her third wicket and have Satterthwaite taking another catch right by the rope to see the Indians finishing on 265-7 in their 50 overs.

New Zealand needed a very good start to their run chase to give them hope of hunting down the big total, but instead, it saw the ‘White Ferns’ skittled out for a lowly 79 runs in 25.3 overs. Opener Suzie Bates lasted all of two balls, as she scored one before getting an inside edge off the bat from Shikha Pandey and have Veda Krishnamurthy back in the action again, to take the catch. Rachel Priest then went caught and bowled for 5 off Jhulan Goswami and that pretty much set the tone for the Kiwis as they went into a tailspin from that point onwards.

Katey Martin threw her wicket away for 12, as she flicked the ball out towards Kaur in the field and gave Deepti Sharma her first wicket in the match. Amy Satterthwaite was the only New Zealander to put up a real fight in the Innings, but she was only able to make 26 from 47 balls before she was out stumped off the bowling of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and saw the spinner beginning to weave her magic.

Sharma then bowled Katie Perkins for 1 and when Gayakwad claimed her second wicket of the match getting Sophie Devine out for 7 – it saw New Zealand in heaps of trouble at 57-6. India was practically strolling to the Semi Finals when Rajeshwar Gayakwad took her third wicket to dismiss Hannah Rowe out for 4 and the Indian fans were partying mood already in Derby.

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India’s Women celebrating their victory over New Zealand to reach World Cup Semi’s – Pic: ICC Cricket

The Kiwis went eight-down in the 22nd over, after Poonam Yadav saw her ball to Maddy Green being struck right towards Jhulan Goswami and leave the ‘White Ferns’ 62-8. Lea Tahuhu then became the fourth victim for Gayakwadi, as Tahuhu made 5 runs and saw the game heading into its last rites by the time Leigh Kasperek came out to the crease for New Zealand. Rajeshwari Gayakwad then brought the game to an early finish and end with a ‘5-fer’ to help easily stamp India’s passage into the Semi-Finals with a crushing win over New Zealand.  

The semi-finals are now set in stone and will see India taking on the World Champions Australia on Thursday in Derby, while England and South Africa will meet at the Bristol County Ground for a place in the 2017 World Cup Final next Sunday at Lord’s. 


Sri Lanka

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                 SRI LANKA   221-7 ( Manodara 84 / Bing 3 – 41 )               PAKISTAN 206  ( Abidi 57 / Gunarante 4 – 41 )  

SRI LANKA WIN BY 15 RUNS 

In the remaining game of the day, it saw Sri Lanka facing Pakistan at Leicester’s Grace Road and had the Sri Lankan’s prevailing by 15 runs to sign off with a win in the tournament. Sri Lanka lost two early wickets to find themselves 18-2 before a small partnership by Charmari Athapaththu and Shashikala Siriwardena helped their side to 64-3, with Athapaththu becoming the next batsman to depart. Dilani Manodara came out to the middle and was the star of the show for the Sri Lankans in their Innings.

Manodara saw a few wickets falling during her stay at the crease as Siriwardena went for 17, Prasadani Weerakkodi for 5 and Eshani Lokusuriyage for 28 – to have Sri Lanka on 174 for 6. Diliani Manodara then got caught by Sidra Nawaz of a ball from Diana Baig and bring her Innings to a close for 84 and help post a good target for Pakistan to chase. The Innings ended with Ama Kanchana not out for 21 and Sripali Weerkkody for 4 as the total set for the Pakistan side was 222.

Pakistan in their Innings saw them losing openers Ayesha Zafar and Bibi Nahida cheaply, and when Javeria Wadood was run out for 24 – it looked like the target was further away from their grasp. Iram Javed then lofted a catchable ball to Ama Kanchana to go for 15 and Abidi who had looked good with a score of 57, then saw her running herself out with a run that wasn’t on and saw Pakistan’s chance all but evaporate. 

Sana Mir was then out LBW with one run added to the Pakistan total and saw them now 135-6. Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar decided to try and take on the Sri Lankan bowlers on and make herself a hero, but she needed support from her teammates and none were forthcoming. With the final wicket of Sadia Yousaf falling and bring the Innings to a close, it left Khokar unbeaten with a score of 38 not out and see the Pakistan side for a second straight World Cup being unable to register a point and have Sri Lanka as the victors.


World Cup Semi Finals:
 ENGLAND v SOUTH AFRICA  Bristol    Tuesday
     AUSTRALIA v INDIA                   Derby     Thursday
World Cup Final:
Eng/SA  v  Aus/Ind                      Lord’s    Sunday 

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