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Lapses in the field and wayward death bowling by the Indian women pacers were the summary of the Semi Final. India Women Lost to Australia Women in the T20 World Cup Semifinal in Cape Town. It was a match which will forever appear close on paper.

Indian women were sluggish in the field. They conceded at least 15 runs through overthrows and misfields and dropped two crucial catches – of Meg Lanning on 1 and Beth Mooney on 32. Two crucial run-outs dented their chase including that of Harmanpreet Kaur, which led to India’s slide.

The India captain was ill on the eve of the match and briefly hospitalised with a fever. However, she fronted up to lead her side and almost took them home. India were on 28 for 3 in the fourth over, Harmanpreet shared in a 69-run fourth-wicket stand with Jemimah Rodrigues. Soon after, her bat got stuck in the ground while sliding it for a second run. Alyssa Healy was quick to break the stumps. It left India’s middle and lower order to get 40 runs off the last 32 balls.

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After Healy and Mooney’s opening stand of 52, and Mooney and Lanning’s 36-run stand off 27 balls, Ashleigh Gardner arrived to put the finishing touches on an innings that was well set up. She found her first boundary with a clip off Sneh Rana in an over that cost 14 runs and then upped the ante for high-octane entry into the last five overs. She was bowled by a Deepti Sharma yorker in the 18th over, and Australia still managed 30 runs in the last two overs to reach 172.

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India’s Top Order Collapse

India’s chase started in the worst possible way when Shafali was given out LBW. Five balls later, a Gardner arm ball trapped Smriti Mandhana in her crease. Australia reviewed on suspicion of pad first. They were right and India had lost their openers.

Yastika Bhatia then flicked Darcie Brown to Grace Harris at short midwicket. She set off for a run even though Rodrigues didn’t move. By the time Bhatia turned to get back, Harris’ throw had already reached Healy, who had the time to run in and break the stumps. India were 28 for 3 in the fourth over.

Jemimah, Harmanpreet Get a Solid Partnership

Rodrigues and Harmanpreet were not rattled by the early wickets. They took charge of the innings for the next 6.4 overs. Harmanpreet showed few signs of being under the weather and Rodrigues displayed the confidence she showed against Pakistan. Harmanpreet struck India’s first six with a strong swing over long-on and Rodrigues turned it on with two gorgeous lofted off drives off Georgia Wareham. India were 93 for 3 after 10 overs, with the required run rate at eight an over.

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Rodrigues started the second half of the innings with another classic drive and then tried to get cute against a Brown short ball. She shaped up to ramp it over Healy’s head but got a thin edge and was caught behind to leave her captain to complete the chase. Harmanpreet got to her fifty off 32 balls and took India to within 40 runs of victory. However, she was run-out for the first time in nearly five years in T20Is. India’s lower order, who has consistently failed them over the years, could not get them over the line yet again.

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