In 2017 ICC Cricket World Cup, India included two left-arm spinners in its 15 members squad- Ekta Bisht and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Ekta Bisht used to be the regular face in the ODI team while Gayakwad was the second choice. India from the first match depended on Bisht and she took 5 for 18 against Pakistan to defend a total of 178.
But in the match against South Africa where they handed India their first defeat in the tournament, Bisht conceded 61 runs in her 9 overs and against Australia her figure of 10-1-55-0 wasn’t very impressive either. In both the matches Bisht tried to bowl faster the plough which was effective against Pakistan. But those quick ones failed to penetrate the much better teams like South Africa and Australia.
When Bisht and Gayakwad bowled together in the Match:
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Even if we look at the statistics, Bisht and Gayakwad have bowled together in 18 matches. In those 18 matches, Bisht has taken 23 while Gayakwad has taken 34 wickets. Gayakwad also had upper-hand on average and strike-rate than Bisht. Moreover, Rajeswari has a better average than Ekta in overseas condition.
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It was a do or die match for both the team. India batting first, based on Mithali Raj‘s 109 and Veda Krishnamurthy’s blistering 70 off 45 balls put up a total of 265.
In reply, New Zealand lost their prominent batter and highest scorer for the team Suzie Bates in the 2nd over. Rachel Priest was next to fall and New Zealand was 7/2 inside 5 overs. Amy Satterthwaite and Katey Martin tried to rebuild the innings but Martin fell to Deepti Sharma after scoring 12. Gayakwad who is known for the flight and turn was introduced into the attack in the 12th over where she conceded 2 turns against the batters like Devine and Satterthwaite.
After 3 quite over in which she conceded only 8 runs, Gayakwad struck in the very first ball of her 4th over. Satterthwaite stepped out but of her crease but was completely deceived in flight. The ball spun away from the left-hand batter to square her up and Sushma Verma did the rest. She wasn’t even in the frame as the bails were whipped off.
Sophie Devine whose intention was to keep the ship afloat as long as possible was batting on 7 from 20 balls. In her uncharacteristic, she was troubled by Gawakwad several times scoring 2 runs from 13 balls against her. After defending the first three balls of the over, Devine lost her wicket to tear of the shackle. Rajeshwari pitched it full, outside off, and Devine played away from the body as she tries to lift this over the infield on the offside.
But it spun and bounced away, and she sliced it in the covers region. Deepti Sharma made o mistake to grab that. Fall of Devine was the last nail of the coffin fro the Kiwis. New Zealand had nothing further to offer against Gayakwad. Hanna Rowe was next batter to go. Gayakwad tossed the ball up and it pitched on leg and spun away to beat the outside edge and crash into the stumps. She looked to work it past mid-wicket.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s fifer with details:
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Kiwi speed star Lea Tahuhu became her 4th victim. Tahuhu hit her a four in the very first ball of the over but failed to maintain the momentum. Tahuhu lured by the flight outside off, went for a big drive but could only manage a thick edge as Goswami moved low to her left to complete a sharp catch, in the last ball of the 24th over.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who warmed the bench for six games, comes back in and walks away with a five-for when she bowled Lea Kasperek. The ball pitched on block-hole and Kasperek who was batting on 0, looked to work this to the leg side but was late on the shot as the ball knocked the middle stump.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s 5/15 became the best figure for India in World Cups. Her 5/15 lead India to their largest victory in terms of run against the Kiwis. Besides New Zealand again succumbed to the pressure created by the Indian spinners ad got all out to their lowest total ever (79).