Women’s World Cup: Mithali Raj happy with India’s response in must-win match

by NewsWire
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India captain Mithali Raj was happy with the way her team extricated itself from a precarious situation and went on to score a big win against Bangladesh in a must-win match and keep alive hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup here on Tuesday.

After a good opening stand, India lost a couple of quick wickets to slump to 74 for three and were again facing a difficult situation at 176 for six before some late-order heroics as they posted a competitive 229/7 in 50 overs on Tuesday. In response, they bowled out Bangladesh for 119 in 40.3 overs to romp to a 110-run victory.

Yastika Bhatia scored a half-century, while Sneh Rana came up with all-round heroics (27 and 4/30) in a must-win situation as India secured a convincing victory at Seddon Park that took them to third place in the standings.

“It was a game we had to win, so we are happy,” said Mithali after the match on Tuesday.

“We had a good opening partnership and on a wicket like this, it’s always difficult for incoming batters to get runs.

“It was a very good innings by Yastika and the partnership at the end between (Pooja) Vastrakar and Rana was crucial for us to get 230, which was a good score after losing those three wickets back-to-back,” said Mithali.

The India skipper said the presence of all-rounders like Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar helps the team bat deep.

“Having all-rounders helps us bat deep and in a tournament like this you want to have players in the lower-order who can contribute, which is something we’ve worked on. Though spinners have been wrecker-in-chief for India for some time now, Mithali said they were not totally spin-dependent.

“For a long period, we’ve always banked on our spinners and we have quality spinners. Today’s wicket assisted the spinners, giving them the turn. I wouldn’t say we are spin dominant, we have good pacers, but it depends on the opposition and pitch you get.”

Though India have kept alive their hopes of qualification for the semi-finals as they sit in the third spot on six points, they are not totally out of the woods. They will need to beat South Africa in their next match to reach eight points and hope that England and the West Indies falter in their attempts to qualify.

While her team fought back superbly to win the match, Mithali had to endure another poor day with the bat as she got out for a duck.

The India skipper had made 68 against Australia but has also recorded four single-figure scores in her six innings at the tournament to date. However, she was not worried by the string of low scores.

“I remember the last time I was inconsistent was in 2012 so it does happen but we look forward to the next game,” she added.

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