Australian batswomen fail to get going

Sydney: India finished third in the ICC women’s World Cup after Jhulan Goswami and her teammates edged out defending champion Australia by three wickets in a play-off match at the Bankstown Oval here on Saturday.

The Indian bowlers ran through the Australian batting order, bundling out the host for 142 in 44.4 overs with just three batswomen — captain Karen Rolton (52), Lisa Sthalekar (30) and Alex Blackwell (19) — managing double digit scores. India’s chase was not smooth as it faltered and fumbled before eventually reaching 145 for seven wickets in 43.5 overs in a tie which was reduced to 46-overs-a-side following rain.

Dhar shines

Sulakshana Naik topscored with 28, while the ‘eve of the match’ Rumeli Dhar (24) and Jhulan (18) steered the side to victory with an unbeaten 41-run stand. This was India’s second victory over the defending champion whom it had earlier beaten by 16 runs in the Super Six stage. Rolton’s decision to bat first clearly backfired with Jhulan castling Leah Poulton with the fourth delivery of the day. Shelley Nitschke (6), the other opener, too didn’t last long as Rumeli removed her in the sixth over to reduce the host to eight for two.

Rolton and Blackwell had just steadied the ship when India’s left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana removed the latter and Australia soon lost the top half of its batting order with the score reading a mere 63.

Good stand

Rolton found an able ally in the Pune-born Sthalekar and they put on 60 runs before Priyanka Roy removed the Australian captain to trigger a batting collapse and the host eventually folded for 142 runs inside 45 overs.

India was reeling at 104 for seven at one stage before Jhulan and Rumeli played some sensible and positive cricket.

They stayed till the end to complete a close win. — PTI

SCOREBOARD

 Australia: L. Poulton b Goswami 0, S. Nitschke c Deshpande b Dhar 6, A. Blackwell c Sharma b Sultana 19, K. Rolton c Goswami b Roy 52, J. Fields c Kamini b Sultana 6, J. Cameron c Raj b Dhar 7, L. Sthalekar c Naik b Roy 30, E. Perry (run out) 2, R. Farrell b Goswami 9, E. Osborne c Roy b Sharma 6, S .Andrews (not out) 0; Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5, Total (in 44.4 overs): 142.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-8, 3-35, 4-50, 5-63, 6-123, 7-124, 8-131, 9-139.

India bowling: Jhulan 9.4-3-21-2, Rumeli 9-1-24-2, Amita 8-0-25-1, Gouher 9-0-27-2, Priyanka 5-0-21-2, Harmanpreet 4-0-22-0.

India: A. Deshpande lbw b Osborne 18, A. Chopra b Osborne 15, S. Naik c Perry b Sthalekar 28, M. Raj st. Fields b Sthalekar 15, T. Kamini c Fields b Perry 11, P. Roy b Sthalekar 6, R. Dhar (not out) 24, A. Sharma lbw b Perry 3, J. Goswami (not out) 18, Extras (b-1, w-6): 7; Total (for seven wkts. in 43.5 overs): 145.

Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-40, 3-72, 4-85, 5-98, 6-98, 7-104.

Australia bowling: Andrews 5-0-23-0, Farrell 4-0-17-0, Osborne 9-0-21-2, Sthalekar 10-1-27-3, Nitschke 9-1-30-0, Perry 6.5-1-26-2.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper