English Skipper Heather Knight won the all important toss on the big day and decided to bat first. They had a solid foundation initially with the scoreboard reading 47-0, only for Poonam Yadav to come and spin her web to reduce them to 63-3. The pendulum swung India’s way but Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver made sure that they put up a show when it matters the most. As the scoreboard was inching towards 150 with 18 overs in hand, Jhulan Goswami struck thrice in two overs to bring back the momentum India’s way. This ended their 83 runs stand wherein Taylor missed her fifty by five runs falling to a soft dismissal down the leg, while Sciver reached to her half century only to get trapped in front of the wicket to the speedster Jhulan. All in all, India was able to restrict the mighty English Side to a modest score of 228.
By mid-stage half the job was done. The second innings never really gained the momentum for the Indian side, the rough patch of Mandhana continued as she misjudged the line from Shrubsole and was clean bowled even before opening her account. That wicket brought to the middle the ever consistent Indian Skipper Mithali Raj, she was as busy in the centre as she has always been, but this was a big game and under pressure she found herself to be nowhere in the frame when she half-heartedly responded to a call from Raut. The score was 43-2 and Harman Preet Kaur came into partner Raut, in fine form. Raut kept the scoreboard ticking playing her usual game, she further played few gritty aerial shots. Harman played her natural game scoring only 8 odd runs off 25 balls. Raut built her innings beautifully while Kaur found her form with a couple of maximums. After scoring her half century she tried hitting another six off the bowl from spinner Heartley, it landed in the safe hands of the fielder Beaumont. India had lost its third wicket at the score of 138; and still needed 91 runs to win. The flamboyant Veda was next to step in who made her intentions clear from the beginning hitting a boundary off the first ball. Only 38 runs were needed off 44 balls with 7 wickets in hand and we would be making history.
Raut lost her concentration for a split second and was caught right in front of the wicket at the score of 86. She was Shrubsole’s second victim of the day. Post that wicket there was a collapse and the team succumbed to the pressure. Eventually India ended up 9 runs short of the target and the English side went on to lift the cup for the fourth time.
Post the tournament, one hopes the Cricketing DNA is excited in many more girls out there.