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ICC T20 World Cup 2020: Agony Continues as India Have Failed to Break the Manacles for the Fourth Time

As some of the ardent fans of women cricket are still trying to cope with the one-sided defeat of Indian team in the recently concluded final, where Indian women have lost the match by 85 runs, lets us remember that it’s not their first-ever Knock out defeat.

Rather India in 7 editions of the ICC T20 World Cup has qualified for the semi-final for 4 times and played final once. However, to rub salt in the wound, it would be worth remembering that India has failed to win single knock out match in T-20 World Cup in their 4 attempts. Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur have led India in these lost matches.

Let’s have a look at how India fared in these games:

India vs New Zealand, 1st Semi-final, ICC T20 World Cup 2009, June 18

New Zealand: 145/5 (Aimee Watkins 89; Amita Sharma 2/21) beat India: 93/9 (Amita Sharma 24; Sian Ruck 2/20) by 52 runs

In the very first edition of the ICC Women World T-20, India under the leadership of Jhulan Goswami met New Zealand in the first semifinal. Winning the toss Watkins decided to bat first. Despite losing Lucy Dolan in the 2nd over, skipper Aimee Watkins took the attack to the opposition who later made it to the ICC team of the tournament, hit 10 fours and 2 sixes on her way to unbeaten 89 of just 58 balls.

Due to her whirl-wind batting, the Kiwis managed to score 49 runs in last 27 balls. She slogged and cut with ease but also had luck on her side. An edge was missed by the keeper and went for four to the third man and she was also beaten at times. She helped her team to reach a total of 145 runs. Amita Sharma with her medium pace picked up 2 wickets and was the most economical bowler.

Team India
Team India in 2009 T20 World Cup. Picture: Getty Images

Chasing 146 runs, India started off slow and lost their first wicket in the second over when Punam Raut edged an inswinger from Sian Ruck to square leg. Mithali Raj, India’s most successful batter then joined their most experienced batter, Anjum Chopra. Their partnership would have been the key but they hit only two boundaries in their 23-run stand – the highest for India.

But they failed to put up a big partnership. It was Amita Sharma again, who came in the 10th over, scored 24 off 27 balls helped India to reach a total of 93. Sian Ruck with her left arm seam and all-round off-spinner Amy Satterthwaite picked up 2 wickets apiece to beat India by 52 runs. However, it was India’s first defeat in the Knock Outs in World T20.

India vs Australia  1st Semi-final, ICC World T-20 2010, 13 May

India: 119/5 (Punam Raut 44; Ellyse Perry 1/19) lost to Australia: 123/3 (Alex Blackwell 61; Priyanka Roy 2/27) by 7 wickets

India qualified for the World Cup Semi-final for the 2nd consecutive time and this time skipper Jhulan Goswami won the toss to bat first. Though India lost Sulakshana Naik early, Punam Raut first made a partnership of 29 runs with Mithali Raj and then 57 with Harmanpreet Kaur. The key breakthrough came when the off-spinner Lisa Sthalekar was called in the eighth over and had the brilliant Mithali Raj (16) stumped, dropping India to 31 for 2.

Punam Raut who was anchoring the innings with her 44 lost her wicket in order to increase the run rate in the 17th over. In the same over India lost two important bats who could have given the late boost their bat. Harmanpreet and Jhulan was runout in the same 17th over to dent India’s hope. Amita Sharma, who hit a six in the final over, collected 17 off 11 and Dhar chipped in with 12 from nine to provide a late boost.

Team India
Team India in 2010 T20 World Cup. Picture: Getty Images

Defending a modest total of 120, Jhulan Goswami drew the first blood when she removed bowled Elyse Villani in the 4th ball of the innings. Then came skipper Alex Blackwell who along with Shelley Nitschke put up a partnership of 75 to stable the innings. 

She eventually got out of the bowling of Priyanka Roy, but not before scoring 61. After she got out Lea Poulton and Jess Duffin (nee Cameron) ensured that Australia completed the chase without any further causalities with 7 balls to spare and India failed to break the shackle of the knock out for the consecutive time.

India vs England, 1st Semi-Final, ICC World T20 2018, 22nd November

India: 112 (Smriti Mandhana 34; Heather Knight 3/9) lost to England: 116/2 ( Amy Jones 53*; Radha Yadav 1/20) by 8 wickets

India remained unbeaten in the group stage in their road to Semi-final, after their forgettable journey in previous two world cups. Their spinners bamboozled opponent batters and defeated the teams like New Zealand and Australia with ease.

Their top order was looking good like Harmanpreet hit a century in the match against New Zealand, Smriti played an instrumental role against Australia, while Mithali Raj was consistent with her bat. However Indian fans were surprised when Harmanpreet said they were playing with the same team from the previous game which meant the exclusion of Mithali Raj from the Semi-Final clash.

This, later on, created one of the ugliest controversies of India Cricket. Electing to bat first India team was going well. Tania Bhatia and Mandhana added 43 runs in the powerplay before Mandhana got out on 34 on a slow surface. Harmanpreet and Jemimah have made a partnership of 36 runs and on the verge to take the attack to the opposition.

But that didn’t happen. England was looking for a wicket and that came in the form of a run-out. Jemimah was run out after scoring 26 in the 14th over. Then England spinner pounced on India on s sticky wicket. Kirsten Gordon tossed the ball up and both Harmanpreet and Veda Krishnamurthy danced down the track to hoick the ball.

Team India
Team India in 2018 World T20. Picture: Getty Images

As England skipper Heather Knight joined the party, India lost their last 8 wickets on just 23 runs and only managed to reach 112. England spinners broke the backbone of Indian batting line up which was top-heavy and picked up 7 wickets, conceding only 71 runs from 81 balls with 38 dot balls. India depended upon their spinners and both England openers were sent back in the pavilion within 5 overs.

However, keeper Amy Jones and all-rounder Natalie Sciver took the control of the match. They tackled the spin threat with ease. On a slow pitch they went deep in the crease and played strokes through the square. India could have taken the upper hand hadn’t Poonam Yadav dropped the catch of Nat Sciver on the square leg when she was batting on 2.

She never looked back from there and the duo added 92 runs for the 3rd wicket to seal the victory, thereafter. Both Amy Jones and Sciver completed their half-centuries. Sciver was the one who batted aggressively and never gave Indian spinner the chance to take the upper hand. The duo was clear in their thinking and methodical in their execution of simple, common-sense plans where Amy Jones was declared player of the match.

India vs Australia, Final, ICC T20 World Cup 2020, 8th March

Australia: 184/4 (Beth Mooney 78*; Deepti Sharma 2/38) beat India: 99/10 (Deepti Sharma 33; Megan Schutt 4/18) by 85 runs

India who remained invincible and has beaten Australia in the tournament opener faced the same opponent in their first-ever final in ICC T20 World Cup. India, by virtue of their unbeaten run in the group stage, was promoted to final in the abandoned semi-final against England while Australia has defeated another invincible team, South Africa, by 5 runs in a rain-affected game.

In front of record 80000+ crowd, Meg Lanning won the toss to bat first. Both the openers took advantage of the batting deck and defused the threat created by the Indian spinners, from the beginning of the innings. However, both the opener was dropped in the initial overs, taking the tally of the drop catches by the Indian fielders to 9, highest in the tournament.

Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy never looked back from there. They went deep inside the crease or came down the track to counter the Indian spinners who have taken 21 wickets in the tournament. Healy with 5 gigantic sixes played an innings of 75 from 39 balls, innings which snatched the match from the Indian side. While Healy projected the sheer power and muscled the Indian bowling, Mooney delicately scored the runs through the gaps. Healy’s half-century which came of 30 balls is the fastest in the final, across both the gender.

The opening partnership, which accumulated 115 runs in 70 balls, turned the tide in the favour of the host. Mooney remained not out on 78, including 10 boundaries. Indian spinners tried to pull things towards them in the dying overs and restricted their counterparts to reach a total of 200.

Team India. Image: T20WorldCup

Indian fans have hoped for a blistering start, just like the last group stage match of Tri-Series, where Indian team scored 100 runs in 10 overs, against the same opponent, chasing 172 runs to win. But Shefali Verma and Smriti Mandhana duo failed to replicate that. India’s hope suffered the first dent when Shafali Sharma was caught behind by Healy in the very first over of the bowling of Megan Schutt.

In the 6th over skipper Harmanpreet Kaur went for the slog sweep against Jess Jonassen. She failed to middle the ball, only to caught by Ash Gardner at square leg for 4. She has scored only 30 runs in her 5 innings in this world cup, sharp contrast if we compare with the last edition.

Indian batting has been the area of concern throughout the tournament and in the final, it became more prominent. After the loss of Harmanpreet’s wicket, the fierce Aussie sensed their victory which was delayed by Deepti Sharma’s 33, 18 from Richa Ghosh who came as a concussion substitute for Taniya Bhatia and Veda Krishnamurthy’s 19. Jess Jonassen picked up 3 wickets and Megan Schutt picked up 4 to bundle out India within 99, and hand themselves their 2nd consecutive T20 World Cup victory and 5th overall.



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