Fourth win in a row for India Women as they defeated Sri Lankan side by 16 runs in their fourth fixture after a few scary moments towards the end of the game. On the other hand, Sri Lanka's spirited fight in the death overs was just not enough to get past the bowlers. Had they accelerated the pace of chase a few overs earlier in the middle overs, it would have been a real threat for India. But, as said by the Indian captain Mithali Raj before starting their World cup campaign, India Women have firm eye on winning this edition of ICC Women's World Cup. It's because they know the need and importance of winning this tournament very well.
India are now placed comfortably on 2nd place in the points table with eight points after winning four off four games.
Below are the statistical summary of the game:-
Toss - Won by India and elected to bat first
India - 232/8 (50overs)
England - 216/7 (50overs)
Top scorer for India - Deepti Sharma ( 78 runs in 110 balls including 10 fours)
Highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka - Sripali Weerakkody (3 wickets conceding just 28 runs in 9overs)
Top scorer for Sri Lanka - Dilani Manodara ( 61 runs in 75 balls)
Highest wicket taker for India - Poonam Yadav and Jhulan Goswami (2 wickets each)
Player of the match - Deepti Sharma (India)
Batting first and posting 232/8 on board was some 20-30 runs short of the target expected by the Indian team, thanx to some decent bowling by the Sri Lankan side.
It was not one of the best openings for the Indians as they lost both their openers cheaply within the first 15 overs.
The Indian skipper, Mithali Raj came in to bat at number 4 when India's score was 38/2 after 10.5 overs. She, along with Deepti Sharma played intelligent cricket as both of them kept the scoreboard moving with singles and capitalizing on any opportunity to hit a boundary. Their left-hand right-hand combination was evidently a botheration for the opponents as they were forced to make quick field adjustments.
Playing some lovely lofty shots to get most of her boundaries, Sharma reached her 6th ODI half century in 89 balls in 30th over.
36th over was an eventful over where on one hand, M. Raj reached her 48th ODI half century and on the other hand Ama Kanchana finally getting rid of D. Sharma on the fifth ball of the over.
To everyone's surprise, Jhulan Goswami was sent in to bat at number 5 ahead of Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy. But Goswami, who is known for her big hits could not do much and departed early. Soon, Raj got out in immediate succession.
The dismissal of two well settled batters in 40th over affected the run rate immensely. With the continued disciplined bowling of Sripali Weerakkody and Shashikala Siriwardene, India could manage only 62 runs for the lose of 3 wickets in the last 10 overs.
Nipuni Hansika and Hasini Perera opened up for Sri Lanka. Goswami got India it's first breakthrough by striking early in 5th over by getting rid of H. Perera. Goswami bowled in a very impressive spell maintaining right line and length. Deepti Sharma kept it tight from the other end.
India got the much awaited wicket of dangerous Chamari Atapattu in 18 over when Poonam Yadav produced a beauty and the batter completely missed it only to get bowled out. Ekta Bisht continued with her smart bowling on the other end. Meanwhile P. Yadav bowled a sensational spell of real beauties as her bowling figures were 2/23 after completing her 10overs.
The Indians were not allowing the Sri Lankan batters to go beyond singles or doubles as after 40 overs their score was 138 for the lose of four wickets.
On the one hand, wickets were falling down at crucial points and on the other, the asking run rate was shooting up rapidly. Meanwhile, Manodara reached her half century in 45th over.
Although Sri Lanka got some much needed boundaries due to some lazy fielding efforts by Indian fielders, but that was not enough to produce a upset win for Sri Lankan women.
A number of records were made in today's game and they are as follows :-
1. India Women have won 25 out of the 26 ODIs played between them and SL women till date.
2. Smriti Mandhana became 3rd Indian opener to score 200 plus runs in single edition of Women's World Cup.
3. Deepti Sharma has scored highest runs (605) in ODIs in 2017 (Highest individual score being 188runs)
4. Mithali Raj has the highest number of 50s now (48), 2nd highest 50 plus scores in one calendar year (8), most 50 plus scores by captains in Women's ODI (34) and stands at 3rd place in most 50 plus scores in world cup.
5. First World Cup match for Veda Krishnamurthy who replaced Mona Meshram today.
6. For the first time, India has won 4 consecutive matches in single edition of Women's world cup.
7. Most wins for India Women in ODIs in a calendar year is in 2017 (14)
8. Chamari Atapattu is now highest run getter in this world cup so far scoring 257 runs in 4 matches.
Well now we take a leave with a promise to keep you updated continuously.
And a big congratulations to Raj and team for this win as we gear up for some of the big games ahead against more stronger teams.