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Coming back stronger, Women in Blue keep hopes of semi-finals alive

The likes of Yastika Bhatia, Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Richa Ghosh guided the Indian victory over Bangladesh Women. Coming back from the two consecutive defeats from England and Australia respectively, Women in Blue took the upper hand in today's game and emerged victorious with a margin of more than 100 runs for the third time in this tournament. India outplayed the Bangla team in all three departments, and the most pleasing sign was the performance of the youngsters who guided the team to a victory.

Winning the toss, India chose to bat. The opening duo of Smriti and Shafali stitched a partnership of 74 runs, which is the highest opening partnership for India in this world cup. Post the quick wickets of Smriti, Shafali and Mithali, Yastika took the control of the crease. Playing at her favourite batting number 3, she played sensibly and took time before scoring runs. Earlier with Harman, and then with Richa, Yastika held one end firmly and played her role in small partnerships.

Before she was dismissed, she scored her second consecutive fifty in the tournament. Then came the stars of India's encounter with Pakistan. Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar were initially unable to find boundaries due to excellent bowling by Bangla bowlers, but in the last 3 overs, they displayed their street smartness and played some elegant shots to help India reach a defendable total of 229 runs. Bangla bowlers did a great job to defend the strong Indian batting line-up at a score less than expected.

But Bangla batters couldn't do their job to perfection. The India bowlers made good use of the dry surface and slow outfield and restricted opposition at a low score. Barring the resistance shown by Salma Khatun and Ritu Mondal, none of the batters did their job. For India the consistent all-rounders Rana and Vastrakar did a great job with the former taking 4 and later 2 wickets. Experienced Jhulan dismissed 2, Gayakwad and Yadav 1 each Bangla batters. India won the only third match in the tournament, but all the three have come with huge margins of 100+ runs each.

With it, India has kept the hopes of the Semi-finals alive. The most amazing thing about this victory was that the pioneers were the players like Bhatia, Rana and Vastrakar who are all playing just their first World cup. With Harman, Mithali not living up to the expectations, the youngsters are showing the right intent in this tournament. They are carrying the expectations of the billion people with them, and are giving them hope of India's triumph.

At this point, the tournament is getting exciting with every single game coming forward. Australia has already stormed in the finals with their dominant performance. Pakistan, Bangladesh and the hosts New Zealand are already out of the semi-final hunt. England, after losing the initial 3 matches, is trying every way to make it to the semis. For the remaining three slots for semis, South Africa, West Indies, England and India are fighting very hard. It will be interesting to see who goes ahead in the tournament.

Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)


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