Dhaka, Bangladesh
England India Oz win in Women WC cricket

England India Oz win in Women WC cricket

LONDON, Jul 16: INDIA captain Mithali Raj scored her sixth one-day international hundred as she led her side into the last four of the Women’s World Cup during a crushing 186-run win over New Zealand in Derby on Saturday, report agencies. Raj made 109 in an India total of seven for 265 that also featured Veda Krishnamurthy’s 70 off just 45 balls and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 60. New Zealand, one of the pre-tournament favourites, then collapsed spectacularly to 79 all out — their lowest ever Women’s World Cup completed total — with left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad taking five for 15 in her first match of the tournament. This was a virtual quarter-final between the two sides, with tournament hosts England, reigning champions Australia and South Africa already into the semi-finals ahead of Saturday’s final group matches. “I’m extremely happy,” said Raj. “For a couple of us, this will be our last World Cup, so our first aim was to enter the semi-finals. “I’ve always dreamt of getting runs for my country — that hunger never dies.” Dejected New Zealand captain Suzie Bates admitted: “We were nowhere near as good as we needed to be. That’s how it’s been in pressure games this tournament — we haven’t turned up when we needed to. “There’s going to be lot of reviews of our team because we were expected to make the semi-finals,” added Bates after the White Ferns failed to make the top four for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1973. India’s win saw them book a place in the second semi-final against Australia in Derby on Thursday, with England playing South Africa in Bristol on Tuesday. The final is at Lord’s on Sunday, July 23. England, surprisingly beaten in their opening match by India, topped the all-play-all group standings after defeating the West Indies by 92 runs in Bristol. Heather Knight, the England captain, led from the front with 67 in a total of seven for 220. That proved more than enough as the West Indies were held to 128 for nine in their full 50 overs. This was a virtual quarter-final between the two sides, with tournament hosts England, reigning champions Australia and South Africa already into the semi-finals ahead of Saturday’s final group matches. “I’m extremely happy,” said Raj. “For a couple of us, this will be our last World Cup, so our first aim was to enter the semi-finals. “I’ve always dreamt of getting runs for my country — that hunger never dies.” Dejected New Zealand captain Suzie Bates admitted: “We were nowhere near as good as we needed to be. That’s how it’s been in pressure games this tournament — we haven’t turned up when we needed to. “There’s going to be lot of reviews of our team because we were expected to make the semi-finals,” added Bates after the White Ferns failed to make the top four for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1973. India’s win saw them book a place in the second semi-final against Australia in Derby on Thursday, with England playing South Africa in Bristol on Tuesday. The final is at Lord’s on Sunday, July 23. England, surprisingly beaten in their opening match by India, topped the all-play-all group standings after defeating the West Indies by 92 runs in Bristol. Heather Knight, the England captain, led from the front with 67 in a total of seven for 220. That proved more than enough as the West Indies were held to 128 for nine in their full 50 overs.

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