LONDON, July 23: Indian eves today snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as hosts England won the ICC Women’s World Cup final by 9 runs, here today.
England bowler Anya Shrubsole celebrates after picking up a wicket during the ICC Women's World Cup final against England at Lord's, on Sunday.
Chasing a tricky total of 229, Indian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards, being bowled out for 219 in 48.4 overs.
It was a case of so near yet so far for the Indian team who would be devastated having come within a sniffing distance of a historic triumph.
The last seven wickets fell for a mere 28 runs in 6.5 overs as India were cruising along at 191 for 3 at one stage before Veda Krishnamurthy’s (35) atrocious shot selection brought the Englishwomen back into the game.
It was after opener Poonam Raut (86, 115 balls) anchored the innings while Harmanpreet Kaur hit a couple of sixes in her innings of 51.
Earlier, India turned up in a manner befitting the occasion and stopped England at 228 for seven in the final.
The coin landing in the opponents’ favour at the toss was hardly a deterrent as India went about the task in a professional manner.
Leading the show was the redoubtable Jhulan Goswami, who scythed through the English middle-order.
A proven performer for far too long, Jhulan delivered with three wickets in the most widely watched game in the history of women’s cricket.
The highlight of the lanky Bengali’s outing was the back-to-back dismissals of Sarah Taylor and Fran Wilson, which pegged England back.
Taylor is a legend of the women’s game and Sciver entered the marquee match on the back of two centuries, and Jhulan had them caught behind and trapped in front of the wicket.
In what could be her last match, Taylor walked off to an ovation from the almost sell-out Lord’s crowd after scoring 45 off 62 balls. The veteran English batswoman, surprisingly, could not hit a boundary in her innings.
The in-from Sciver struck 51 off 68 balls, hitting five boundaries in the process, before her recovery act was cut short by Jhulan in the first ball of the 38th over.
A former ICC Player of the Year, Jhulan finished her spell with impressive figures of 3/23 in the allotted 10 overs, which included three maidens.
The end of Jhulan’s spell proved to be a boon for England, who rode on Katherine Brunt’s 42-ball 34 and Jenny Gunn’s 25 off 38 balls towards the end to sign off with a respectable total.
After Jhulan, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav was the most impressive bowler, finishing with 2/36 in her quota of 10 overs.
Earlier, England were off to a decent start with openers Lauren Winfield (24) and Tammy Beaumont (23) putting on 47 runs in a little over 11 overs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad gave the spirited visitors their first breakthrough when she removed Winfield.
Yadav dismissed the other opener and skipper Knight in a span of two overs to leave England in a spot of bother at 63 for three in the 17th over.
Taylor and Sciver steadied the ship with a partnership before spearhead Jhulan returned and removed Sciver.
England Women: Lauren Winfield b Gayakwad 24, Tammy Beaumont c Goswami b Poonam Yadav 23, Sarah Taylor c Sushma Verma b Goswami 45, Heather Knight lbw b Poonam Yadav 1, Natalie Sciver lbw b Goswami 51, Fran Wilson lbw b Goswami 0, Katherine Brunt run out (Deepti Sharma) 34, Jenny Gunn not out 25, Laura Marsh not out 14. Extras: (LB-3, W-7, NB-1) 11. Total: (For 7 wkts; 50 overs) 228. Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-60, 3-63, 4-146, 5-146, 6-164, 7-196. Bowling: Jhulan Goswami 10-3-23-3, Shikha Pandey 7-0-53- 0, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 10-1-49-1, Deepti Sharma 9-0-39-0, Poonam Yadav 10-0-36-2, Harmanpreet Kaur 4-0-25-0.
India: Punam Raut lbw b Shrubsole 86, Smriti Mandhana b Shrubsole 0, Mithali Raj run out 17, Harmanpreet Kaur c Beaumont b Hartley 51, Veda Krishnamurthy c Sciver b Shrubsole 35, Sushma Verma b Hartley 0, Deepti Sharma c Sciver b Shrubsole 14, Jhulan Goswami b Shrubsole 0, Shikha Pandey run out 4, Poonam Yadav not out 1, Rajeshwari Gayakwad b Shrubsole 0. Extras: (W-7 NB-1 LB-3) 11. Total: (all out, from 48.4 overs) 219. Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-43, 3-138, 4-191, 5-196, 6-200, 7-201, 8-218, 9-218, 10-219. Bowling: KH Brunt 6-0-22-0, A Shrubsole 9.4-0-46-6, NR Sciver 5-1-26-0, JL Gunn 7-2-17-0, LA Marsh 10-1-40-0, A Hartley 10-0-58-2, HC Knight 1-0-7-0. – PTI