Australia coasted to the victory against India in the ICC Women’s World Cup in their final game at the Brightside Ground in Bristol today. It was Meg Lanning who scored an unbeaten 76 and Ellyse Perry getting a fourth consecutive fifty that took Australia home chasing a target of 227 in the 50 overs. The Australian openers got them off to a good start, before Nicole Bolton slogged out to Poonam in the 16th over. She scored a 36 off 48, and Beth Mooney was soon to follow her to the dressing as she was run out in an unfortunate mix up. India seemed to have a crack at dethroning the defending champs at that point, but Perry and Lanning ensured there were no more mistakes as they put on 142 runs for the third wicket partnership in a show of strength against the Indians. The Indians have done well in the tournament, and this dominant performance is bound to take some wind off their wings as they head to the New Zealand clash. The match against New Zealand is a virtual quarter-final as the victor will qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament. Australia sealed their spot in the semi-finals with today’s win.
Earlier, it was Poonam Raut and Mithali Raj who stood tall as they took India to 175 runs in 40 overs, Raut scoring a scintillating century and Raj 69. However, the departure of Mithali Raj in the 40th over put off the required acceleration in the final overs, and even though India had plenty of wickets in hand, they failed to translate their excellent beginning into a big score. The only silver lining for the Indians from the match will be Mithali Raj’s record breaking innings that helped her surpass English cricketer CM Edwards as the highest ever run scorer in ODI Women’s cricket. She now has 6028 runs from 164 innings at an astounding average of 51.52.