MUMBAI: So we finally know the six teams that have qualified for the Super Six second phase of the Women’s World Cup and the points that they will carry through to this phase with them.
In Group B it is Australia (4), New Zealand (2) and South Africa (0). In Group A it is Sri Lanka (2), England (2) and the West Indies (2). That’s right India are out of the competition and will play-off against Pakistan for 7th/8th place on Thursday.
It was another dramatic day which saw another three centurions in Suzie Bates (102) for New Zealand, Meg Lanning (112) for Australia and Marizanne Kapp (102) for South Africa. All of these came in the Group B games. South Africa duly completed a miserable tournament for Pakistan. Set 208 to win, due mainly to the runs of Kapp and Dane van Niekerk (55no) the Pakistani batting once again failed as they were bowled out for 81. Kapp rounded off a magnificent day for her, and a significant one for South Africa with 3/18 and, not surprisingly, the player of the match award.
As the game finished the attention turned to the India v Sri Lanka game which had just started. Twitter and TMS were buzzing with Net Run Rate calculations that showed Sri Lanka would be out if they lost to India, which seemed the most likely scenario. But Sri Lanka have already shown that you write them off at your peril. Sri Lanka won the toss and batted and aided by some poor Indian bowling they cruised to 121/1 through Yasoda Mendis (55) and Deepik Rasangika. Only then did Mendis stutter and holed out to mid on. Despite decent progress by skipper Shashikala Siriwardene (59) the Sri Lanka innings appeared to be running out of steam, that was until the enigmatic Eshani Kaushalya came to the crease. As she did against England she used a mixture of brute force and intelligent hitting to score 56 off just 31 balls and take Sri Lanka to a formidable 282/5, their highest ever ODI score.
The equation for the Indians was either to overcome this score and go through with 4 points at the expense of Sri Lanka, or score at least 251 and go through with 0 points at the expense of the West Indies. In the event they did neither. The Sri Lankan’s, now full of self-belief, all bowled tight lengths and lines, and the Indians had no answer. Wickets went at regular intervals and the required run-rate just rose and rose. In truth they never looked like getting anywhere near the Sri Lanka score and so it proved. They were bowled out in the 43rd over for 144 and they were out of the competition. Sri Lanka were through as the top team in Group A and with 4 precious points. Who now would be brave enough to bet against them as they face Australia, New Zealand and South Africa? The Super Six stage of this competition is going to be a true test of nerve for all the teams involved, with every run, every wicket and every match absolutely vital.