India suffered heartbreak at the hands of South Africa and lost their last league match by the narrowest margins, in turn crashing them out of the ICC Women’s World Cup. India needed a win to reach the semi-finals, losing by six wickets in a final ball thriller at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday. The loss meant India failed to reach the top four, with Australia, South Africa, England and the West Indies reaching the semi-finals. The match had its ebb and flow and both teams somehow managed to gain control of each other, but the turning point came in the final, when Deepti Sharma crossed the penultimate ball.
Had she not thrown the no-ball, South Africa would have lost their regular batter in Mignon du Preez and needed three runs to win the last ball. Instead, the comparison became two runs off two balls, with Du Preez hitting the winning runs.
The pain of the result was evident on the faces of the Indian players and the fans who were in the stadium, while it was in ecstasy for South Africa and the West Indian team who reached the semi-finals thanks to India’s loss.
The International Cricket Council tweeted Monday a video of an “all-access, behind-the-scenes look” at India’s epic encounter with South Africa.
Drama Anxiety Ecstasy
— ICC (@ICC) March 28, 2022
On Sunday, half centuries of Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma and Mithali Raj had helped India to 274 for seven in 50 overs. It was a brilliant battle display by the Indians in the most trying of circumstances and you would think it would have been totally enough.
But without the pressure to win the match, South Africa, who had already secured a place in the semi-finals, were confident in their pursuit of the goal. Led by the tournament’s top scorer, Laura Wolvaardt, who scored 80 from 79 balls, the South Africans put themselves in a strong position.
But an inspired bowling spell from Harmanpreet Kaur brought India back into the game. However, Du Preez proved to be a thorn in India’s side and her match-winning 52 didn’t help South Africa cross the line in the chase and broke over a billion Indian hearts.
Topics mentioned in this article