India came tantalizingly close to breaking Australia’s unbeaten run in the on-going ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday before falling short and young batter Yastika Bhatia said if they had picked up some early wickets the end result could have been different . India’s path to the semi-finals became much more difficult after losing by six wickets to Australia, their third loss in the showpiece, as the Meg Lanning-led side became the first team to qualify for the final four legs with a record chase in the tournaments. history.
Half centuries of skipper Mithali Raj (68 out of 96 balls), Yastika (59 out of 83) and Harmanpreet Kaur (57 not out of 47) sent India to 277 for seven, but Australia rode openers Alyssa Healy (72 out of 65), Rachael Haynes (43 out of 52) and Lanning’s (97 out of 107) to take their fifth win in as many games.
“They (Australia) are playing fantastic cricket, everyone on their team is taking responsibility,” left-handed Yastika said in the media interaction after the match.
“It was Meg Lanning (97) who just took it upon herself to get the team over the line. Her intention was pretty clear from the start, although she got out. Still we got pretty close, it could have gone either way , we could have crossed the line.” India, second in the 2017 edition, had eliminated Australia en route to the final.
And Yastika said despite their foreboding shape, Australia is a side to beat.
“It’s not like they can’t be beaten. We certainly can. Our team is really good, we can do it in the semis or finals,” said the 21-year-old.
“I think it was a defensible total. Thanks to the Australian batters as they started. Healy and Hyanes started aggressively.
“We would have liked to have taken more wickets in the power play, but they played really well. That (early wickets) would have changed the game, but they played really well,” she added.
Mithali Raj-led India now faces an uphill task as they must win their remaining two matches against South Africa and Bangladesh to keep their hopes of the semi-final alive.
Against Australia, India missed a sixth bowler as they chose Shafali Verma instead of Deepti Sharma.
India also did not use Harmanpreet’s part-time off-spin on Saturday.
“She (Harmanpreet) is bowling in the nets. We had in mind we could use her in the middle overs, but I don’t know what the captain had in mind. But she will definitely bowl in our future matches,” said Yastica.
India will face Bangladesh in Hamilton on Tuesday, before taking on South Africa in their final league game on March 27.
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