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England beat India by 8 wickets to enter final

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London : India’s dream of winning a maiden global title lay in tatters after a questionable omission and an inexplicable batting collapse saw them crash to an eight-wicket defeat against England in the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20.

Reigning ODI World World Champions England will now meet Australia in the summit clash after the Southern Stars beat defending champions West Indies by 72 runs.

India decided to leave their senior most player Mithali Raj, a move that will certainly be questioned, after India lost their last eight wickets for 24 runs to end up scoring a below-par 112 in 19.3 overs.

 

It was a walk in the park for England as seasoned campaigners Amy Jones (53 no, 47 balls) and Natalie Sciver (52 off 40 balls) added 92 runs for the unbroken third-wicket stand to finish the match in only 17.1 overs.

It was yet another story of Indian women not showing enough temperament on big match days, having lost the 50-over World Cup final to England at Lord’s last year and the Asia Cup T20 final to Bangladesh, earlier this year.

As many as seven players failed to get double digit scores and the spin-attack was unable to adapt to a different surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium after playing all their matches at Providence in Guyana.

The bold decision to drop Mithali, the highest run-getter in the shortest format, may haunt the Indian team for the longest time to come as coach Ramesh Powar and captain Harmanpreet Kaur will have a lot of answering to do in the coming days.

India opener Smriti Mandhana scored briskly at the top of the order, making 34 off 23 balls

On a track where the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat, it was the Englishwomen,. who came up trumps with left-arm spinners Kirstie Gordon (2/20 in 4 overs) and Sophie Ecclestone (2/22 in 3.2 overs) varied the pace of their deliveries, something their Indian counterparts completely failed.

Skipper Heather Knight’s off-breaks also came in handy as she had the best figures of 3 for 9 in two overs as none of India’s middle and lower-order batters could force the pace.

Once Smriti Mandhana (33, 24 balls), Jemimah Rodriguez (26 off 26 balls) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (16, 20 balls) were dismissed, there wasn’t any Plan B with Veda Krishnamurthy completely out of form and Deepti Sharma (7, 10 balls) incapable of hitting big shots.

Poor game sense of not reading the pitch also played its part as most of the Indian batswomen charged at the deliveries rather than playing deep inside the crease.

That was the ploy that Jones and Sciver deployed while facing the Indian spin quartet, who were below average on the day.

At Guyana, it was a slow track where the ploy of taking pace off the deliveries worked for the likes of Poonam Yadav (0/29 in 4 overs), Deepti (1/24 in 4 overs) and Anuja Patil (0/27 in 3.1 overs).

However the Antigua track was even slower where they needed change the pace and bowl a little faster. The deliveries being slow through the air gave both Englishwomen enough time to rock on the backfoot and hit shots all round the wicket as a much-hyped clash turned into a lopsided contest.


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Will abide by BCCI, govt’s decision on India-Pakistan WC clash: Kohli

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Mumbai: Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that his entire team would stand by whatever decision the Union Government and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) take on their 2019 ICC World Cup clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 16.

When asked about his take on India vs Pakistan match in the showpiece event, Kohli first paid his condolences to the families of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who were martyred in recent Pulwama terror attack before vowing to respect whatever decision taken by the Indian government.

“Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama Attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the government and the board decide, we will respect that,” Kohli said on the eve of his side’s first T20I of the two-match series against Australia in Visakhapatnam.

 

Earlier, former Indian opener Kapil Dev had also stated that it is better to leave it to the Union Government to decide whether the country should play against its arch-rivals Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup or not.

The 60-year-old had added that whatever the Indian government will decide, will be in the best interest of the nation.

The duo’s comments came after a demand from a huge section of the country to sever cricketing ties with Pakistan in the wake of a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, when at least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.

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Unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing: Mani

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NEW DELHI: Reacting to BCCI’s decision to write a letter to the ICC in which the Indian cricket board has asked “cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has regretted that politics and cricket are mixing.

“It is unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing. It is never good for any sport,” Mani told Sportstar.

Mani also quoted South African Nobel peace prize winner Nelson Mandela, when referring to India’s call to serve sporting ties with Pakistan.”Let’s paraphrase what Mr Nelson Mandela had once said, ‘the voice [of sports] is far reaching than any politician’. Sports has its own role to play. Politics has its own issues. The two should not mix,” Mani said.

 

When asked if Pakistan received any letter from the BCCI or is expecting any letter, Mani outright dismissed the idea, saying, “Why should we receive a letter? Of course, we haven’t received any letter.”

Commenting on the developments in Indian cricket, Mani said: “I will not comment anything on that. Let the BCCI or the ICC decide anything, then only we can discuss about our plan of action.

“You have to talk to the ICC about that. I won’t comment on what Mr Rai has said. We will discuss our plan of action if we hear anything from the ICC. As of now, there has been no communication.” the PCB chief added.

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England expects as ICC World Cup looms into view

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London: With less than 100 days until the 2019 World Cup gets underway, might it be the year that England lift the global game’s premier limited-overs trophy at long last?

England — the pioneers of one-day cricket as a professional sport — have taken part in every World Cup since staging the inaugural men’s event in 1975.

But all they have to show for their efforts are runners-up medals from the 1979, 1987 and 1992 finals.

 

Test cricket has long been the priority for everyone in English cricket, be they players, fans or administrators. That changed, however, after another World Cup group-stage exit at the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand was sealed with a woeful loss to Bangladesh.

Then England and Wales Cricket Board supremo Andrew Strauss decreed that white-ball cricket would no longer be the “poor relation”, with the former England captain sacking head coach Peter Moores and bringing in Australian Trevor Bayliss specifically to turn round the team’s limited-overs form.

The transformation has been remarkable with a newly-liberated England twice setting new records for the highest ODI totals — their 444 for three against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016 a prelude to last year’s colossal 481 for six at the same ground.

England, captained in 50-over cricket by former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan, with the side featuring Test skipper Joe Root and the hard-hitting talents of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, now sit atop the ODI world rankings heading into their upcoming five-match series away to the West Indies.

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