Will India make to the Women’s World Cup semi-final?

By Kersi Meher-Homji

With a week to go for the semi-final of Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, only Australia is certain to make it to the semi-final, having won all their six matches.

But who will be the other three teams to make it to the semis? South Africa has won four out of five matches, India and West Indies winning three out of their six matches, England two out of five and New Zealand two out of six.

India’s net run rate (NRR) of 0.768 is second only to Australia’s 1.287. South Africa has a lower NRR of 0.092.

Bangladesh and Pakistan have no chance, both winning only one of their five matches.

In a vital match India defeated Bangladesh by 100 runs yesterday. India scored 7 for 229 in the allotted 50 overs, Yastika Bhatia scoring 50 and teenage opener Shafali Verma an aggressive 42 with 6 fours and a six.

With off-spinner Sneh Ratna taking 4 for 30, Bangladesh was bundled out for 119 and India won by 100 runs. Yastika Bhatia was made Player of the Match.

She said at the presentation, “Very pleased with the performance although I would have liked to contribute with a few more runs. Nevertheless, very happy with the result. In domestic cricket, I prepared to play at No. 3. But in my mind, I was clear that my focus was to contribute for the team. So the preparation and net sessions were focussed on that objective. Sometimes, wickets [pitches] are not good and wickets can fall, so strike rotation is in my mind. I have changed my diet but I eat everything during the game as carbs are needed. Means a lot to win the award as it’s my first one.”

A relieved Indian captain Mithali Raj said (as quoted in CricInfo), “Happy with the win. [On the collapse early in the batting innings]. It does happen sometimes. I remember the last time I was inconsistent was in 2012. So, it does happen. But we had a good opening partnership. On a wicket like this, it’s hard for an incoming batter to get runs. The anchoring innings by Yastika was important. The partnership from Sneh Rana and Pooja was crucial to get to 229. It’s a good effort from the batting line-up to get there despite the loss of wickets. Selectors have also been on the same page in bringing more all-rounders. For a long time, we’ve always banked on our spinners and we have quality spinners. Today’s surface did help them a lot too. Wouldn’t say we are spin-dominant, it also depends on the opposition we’re playing. We haven’t played a game in Christchurch yet, so that’s a challenge. It’s an important game for India and we would want to do well in all departments.”

India meets South Africa at Christchurch on Sunday the 27th March. I hope India selects all-rounder Deepti Sharma in the vital match against South Africa on Sunday.

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