WWC 2017: IND v ENG, Final Review: 4th World Cup glory for England, dejection for India

WWC 2017: IND v ENG, Final Review: 4th World Cup glory for England, dejection for India

India looked in control of the game for a long period in the second innings but Man of the Match Anny Shrubsole's 6-fer took England to a breathtaking win.

England team players pose after winning the ICC Women’s World Cup cricket final. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The hosts have pulled off an absolute thriller at the Mecca of cricket as England defeated India by 9 runs to clinch the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup. This is their fourth World Cup triumph overall and the first after 2009. India looked in control of the game for a long period in the second innings but Man of the Match Anny Shrubsole’s 6-fer took England to a breathtaking win.

The hosts had no hesitation in electing to bat first after they had won the flip of the coin contest. Laura Winfield (24 off 35 balls) and Tammy Beaumont (23 off 37 balls) went after Shikha Pandey in her first few overs and runs started to come at a good pace. Jhulan Goswami on the other end bowled economically in her first spell, which helped India finish the first power play decently.

After sticking together for 11 overs, Winfield was dismissed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad. The duo added 47 for the first wicket and in came the stalwart, Sarah Taylor. Punam Yadav then bowled spectacular spell where she picked the wickets of Beaumont and skipper Heather Knight in quick succession, leaving the English ship in danger of sinking.

Natalie Sciver (51 off 68 balls) then accompanied Taylor and the duo played some high-quality cricket. Sciver particular came out hard on the Indian spinners and tried to gather some quick runs. Taylor played the anchor role and kept rotating the strike well. The partnership threatened to take the game away from India and the fans were palpably frustrated.

Spell of the tournament from Jhulan Goswami

Whenever a skipper feels helpless on the field, they look to the most experienced player to change the momentum of the game. Mithali brought back Goswami into the attack and the 34-year-old showed the world why she’s considered a legend of the game. She first picked the prized scalp of Taylor and pulled things back a little bit in India’s favour.

After Sciver completed her half-century, she was rapped on the pads by an absolute beauty from the highest wicket-taker in Women’s cricket. The very next ball, Fran Wilson too was dismissed and Goswami had 3 wickets in her second spell.

Katherine Brunt (34 off 42 balls) and Jenny Gunn (25 off 38 balls) then took the onus upon themselves to take England to a score of respectability, while they were struggling at 164/6. The duo didn’t try anything extravagant and stuck themselves in by picking ones and twos regularly. The odd boundary popped in here and there and they had surpassed the 200-run mark.

Though Brunt ran herself out, England finished at 228/7 and were pretty much alive in the game. Whilst Goswami concluded her last World Cup game with figures of 3/23, Poonam Yadav also shone with the ball for the Indians.

Slow start from the Indians

Smriti Mandhana’s horrid run in the World Cup continued as she was cleaned up by Anny Shrubsole for a duck in the very first over of the innings, sending the team into a defensive mode. Mithali Raj and Punam Raut preferred to play out the power play overs and the run rate was not as high as they would’ve wanted.

To add insult to injury, some casual running between the wickets from Mithali saw her walking back way too soon, in the worst way possible. India had lost two wickets cheaply and were struggling at 43/2 in 12 overs. England had set their eyes on their 4th World Cup trophy.

But Harmanpreet Kaur (51 off 80) and Punam had other ideas and playedsome low risk cricket for the next 10-odd overs. Runs didn’t come at a brisk pace but Harmanpreet struck two big sixes in between. After settling in, they played some sensible cricket and India started to get back to level terms.

Punam Raut completed a magnificent half-century, her third fifty plus score in the tournament including a hundred. Harmanpreet too got to her half-century and completely out of the blue, Hartley dismissed her after she had scored 51 off 80 balls.

An entertaining finish

Much to the surprise of everyone, Veda Krishnamurthy (35 off 34 balls) came out to bat ahead of Deepti Sharma. Just before the batting powerplay commenced, Taylor missed a golden opportunity to stump the Indian opener and she made England pay. Skipper Knight too dropped Krishnamurthy and the pressure was getting the better of England.

As she kept coming closer to her hundred, cramps started to trouble Raut and eventually, Shrubsole took her wicket. She scored 86 runs off 115 balls with 4 fours and one six. India lost control later on as 3 wickets fell in quick succession, bringing England right back into the game. Sushma Verma, Veda Krishnamurthy and Jhulan Goswami got out in a span of 2 overs and Deepti Sharma was the last recognised batter left with 28 runs to get.

An untimely run out of Shikha Pandey pretty much settled the deal for England as Deepti lost her focus in the very next over and chipped one straight to mid-wicket. Shrubsole cleaned up Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s stumps on the first ball she was exposed to her and with that, the English Women clinched the 4th World Cup title and the Indians were left heartbroken after coming so close but were still too far.

Brief Scores

England: 228/7 in 50 overs (Sciver 51, Taylor 45; Jhulan Goswami 3/23)

India: 219 all out in 48.4 overs(Punam Raut 86, Harmanpreet 51; Anny Shrubsole 6/46)