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India needs to beat South Africa in a must-win match to reach last four

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

The women’s World Cup is never as popular as the men’s. But credit can’t be taken from them. The 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup has seen a number of severe battles and breath-taking, nail-biting finishes. This has increased its popularity, and people are glued to their screens waiting for the results.

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Several individuals put on a show of incredible athleticism and magnificent performances. The bowling and batting and the stunning fielding and catches of some matches really increase the popularity of Eve’s World Cup. Watching matches and seeing incredible performances has enthralled cricket fans all over the world.

The most important questions at the moment are arising among the Indian fans: how can India qualify for the semi-final berth? But the Indian Eves have to beat the mighty South Africa, who has performed remarkably well in the entire tournament.

The Proteas won their first four games in a row before their winning streak was ended by the mighty Australians. South Africa got off to an unsteady start against the West Indies before torrential rain forced the game to be called off.

A spot in the semi-finals is up for grabs as India is set to meet South Africa in their final league game of the Women’s World Cup 2022 on Sunday at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Mithali Raj’s girls still have their destiny in their own hands as a win against the Proteas women will almost guarantee them a spot in the last four.

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At the moment, India is struggling in 5th place with 6 points from as many matches, a point less than West Indies, who have already completed their quota of 7 matches. With New Zealand already out of contention for a semi-final berth, it’s a three-way race between India, England and the West Indies.

In a bid to keep their title defence alive, England, who also have 6 points from as many matches; face Bangladesh in the first match on Sunday.

In the end, the run rate will be crucial.

If India loses to South Africa, their only hope of advancing to the semifinals will be if England, who have a better NRR (+0.778), also lose their last league stage match to Bangladesh and finish with a lower NRR. On paper, England is superior to Bangladesh.

India’s players gear up for the match.

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Tomorrow is a crucial game, and everyone knows that. They are all ready to give 100 percent. Whoever goes out to bat goes out thinking we have to get partnerships and back each other, “Shafali Verma said on the eve of the all-important match.

“We want good partnerships in tomorrow’s match as a batting unit. The bowling and fielding have become quite good. We have improved as a team, “she added.

Mithali needs to score

Captain Mithali Raj herself has been struggling in this tournament. Her batting has not clicked yet. She has four single-digit scores in the tournament. She could potentially play her last game for India if India fails to make the semis. The 39-year-old veteran would like to score in all the important matches and help the girls in blue reach the last four.

Smriti Mandhana, barring the hundred against the West Indies, has also looked out of form. Shafali got some much-needed runs against Bangladesh, while Yastika Bhatia has slotted herself perfectly at No. 3.

Vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been India’s most consistent performer with the bat, while all-rounders Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana have shown they can be counted on to score quick runs down the order.

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The batters will need to fire as a group to get the better of South Africa, who have only lost one match in the tournament.

Indian bowlers should deliver.

The bowling department has been looking a bit lacklustre at times. But the team put up a much-improved show against Bangladesh. The move to bring in spinner Poonam Yadav in place of pacer Meghna Singh paid off for India.

However, it remains to be seen if India continues with its two pacers and three spinners policy at the Hagley Oval, which has a balanced track where the bowlers will have to be disciplined with their lines and lengths.

No pressure on South Africa

South Africa, on the other hand, has already qualified for the semifinals. They are overconfident. They have nothing to lose. The Proteas girls sit second in the overall standings, behind Australia.

Indian girls need to play to their potential tomorrow. The girls in blue are replete with talented players. They have to reach the ground with the aim of victory, and then they have a chance to overpower the South African girls and cement their place in the semis.

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Wasim Haque

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