The day didn’t get off to the best start for the Indian cricket fans as the India women’s cricket team lost to England and crashed out of the ICC WT20 tournament, bringing a sad end to the many hopes of bringing home the glory.
Locking horns with England in the tournament’s first semi-final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday, India won the toss and elected to bat first on a tricky surface.
After getting off to a solid start, the Indian team collapsed like a pack of nine cards, losing eight wickets for just 23 runs. What seemed to be promising innings at the start, was restricted to just 112 runs by the end of 20 overs.
Opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana top-scored for the women in blue with 34 runs. Leaving out the experienced Mithali Raj also proved to be a costly mistake as the batswomen were found wanting for experience on a pitch that demanded skill and technique. Skipper Heather Knight was the pick of the bowlers for England, picking up 3 wickets for 9 runs in 2 overs.
Coming in to chase a paltry target, England lost two quick wickets, kindling the hopes of an unlikely Indian victory. What followed, however, was a pure class from Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver as the duo got together to batter the Indian bowlers. England cruised home to victory by 8 wickets with both Jones and Sciver carrying their bats to the end.
What was deemed to be a golden opportunity to avenge the loss in the final at last year’s ICC 50-over World Cup, was reduced to a sorry affair for the Indian women once again.
Meanwhile, dropping Mithali Raj for the all crucial clash has caught the ire of many experts and fans on social media. Given the fact that Raj is India’s top run-getter in T20s, the decision to leave her out of the final eleven has come under the scanner.