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5 standout moments from the Women's World Cup 2017

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Women's_Cricket_World_Cup_MomentsThe ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 ended in a nerve-wracking final between India and England at Lord’s that England went on to clinch by a mere 9 runs. Overall, the eleventh edition of the tournament turned out to be quite a solid one and had quite a few moments to cherish. Here is a look at the five standout moments of the 2017 Women’s World Cup.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s stunning 171 knocks defending champions Australia out:

When India faced-off against defending champions Australia in the semi-finals of the World Cup, not many had given them a chance. Australia looked a pretty solid unit and had already beaten India a few days back in the group stages. It looked to be going Australia’s way in the rain-curtailed semis as well when India was struggling at 101-3 in the 25th over with just 17 overs to go. 

But in walked Harmanpreet Kaur and completely changed the complexion of the game. Biffing sixes and fours with ferocity and disdain, Kaur absolutely razed the Australian bowling into smithereens in the next few overs. The middle-order batter took a little time to settle in, but after crossing her fifty, she cut loose and counter-attacked in the most sensational manner. 

Kaur ended up smacking 20 fours and 7 fixes to score an incredible unbeaten 171 off just 115 balls. It was second-highest individual score in the women’s World Cup and single-handedly knocked the world champions out of the tournament.

A nail-biter of a final:

The final of the Women’s World Cup lived up to its billing. Low-scoring affairs can often provide the most entertaining cricket and that is what happened in the finals between India and England at Lord’s. Batting first on a slow pitch, tournament favourites England struggled against some good Indian bowling and was restricted to just 228-7. India began their chase confidently and was coasting along at 191-3 with Punam Raut (86) and Harmanpreet Kaur (51) going great guns. 

However, the English bowlers hadn’t given up and kept bowling some tight overs, resulting in the fall of Kaur and Raut. Panic set in and the Indian batters kept perishing one after the other as England produced some sharp overs with Anya Shrubsole(6-46) being the wrecker-in-chief. England tightened the noose in the end overs and India eventually fell 9 runs short of their maiden World Cup triumph. The Indian team was left heartbroken and England clinched their fourth title in what was one of the best final of the event.

Mithali Raj becomes 1st woman to score 6,000 runs in ODIs:

This Women’s World Cup also saw history being created as India’s Mithali Raj overtook England batting legend Charlotte Edwards to become the leading run-scorer in women’s ODI history and also became the first ever player in women’s cricket to breach the 6000-run mark in ODI cricket. 

Mithali surpassed Edwards’ record in 16 fewer games and her average of 51.58, too, is significantly higher than Edwards’ 38.16. The experienced Mithali has been one of the most consistent players in world cricket and she achieved this coveted record in India’s match against Australia at Bristol.

While India did lose the match, Mithali went to score a gritty 69 and was the second-highest scorer of the tournament with 409 runs. By the end of the tournament, Mithali’s career tally stood at a whopping 6190 runs with 6 hundreds and 49 fifties.

The semi-final that brought the World Cup alive:

After a spate of one-sided games that did the women’s game no good, the Women’s World Cup 2017 was finally brought to life with a nerve-wracking semi-final between England and South Africa. Batting first, South Africa was restricted to just 218 courtesy a fine bowling performance by England on a slow wicket. 

In their reply, England was well on course at 142-3 when a terrific bowling spell by Ayabonga Khaka (2-28) turned things around. The other bowlers too chipped in and the pressure of the big semi-final began choking England as they lost a bunch of wickets to be reeling at 213-7.

With just three runs needed off the final over, England scored one run and lost a wicket in the first three balls. It felt like South Africa would sneak in a stunning win, but then Anya Shrubsole punched a boundary to seal the game for England. South Africa was left despondent but the viewers had truly witnessed a thrilling and memorable game of cricket.

Chamari Atapattu scores the highest individual score of the edition:

Sri Lanka’s Chamari Atapattu played an innings of a lifetime against Australia that really lit up this World Cup. Batting first against a potent Australian bowling unit, most of the Sri Lankan batters struggled to make a mark. But Chamari Atapattu, who came in one down, was absolutely composed and nonchalant as she took on the bowlers and began smashing them to every inch of the Bristol cricket ground. 

Even as wickets kept falling around her, Chamari was unperturbed and continued her relentless assault on the Australian bowlers to notch up an incredible hundred. Chamari eventually remained unbeaten on a magnificent 178 – the third-highest score in the history of Women's ODIs and the highest of the 2017 World Cup– with 22 fours and 6 sixes. 

What’s interesting is that despite this herculean effort, the Sri Lankan total was just 257 and the next best score in the team was only 24. Chamari had hence scored 69.26% of Sri Lanka's total runs – the highest in a completed innings in Women's ODIs and only behind Viv Richards 189*of 272 (69.48%) in Men’s ODIs. Sri Lanka lost the match by 8 wickets, but Chamari Atapattu’s extraordinary 178 will go down as one of the finest World Cup knocks of all time.

 

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