Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Anya Shrubsole bowls England to 2017 World Cup title as India suffer another heartbreak in knockouts
July 23, 2017 - When India and England met in their first encounter in the 2017 women's 50-over World Cup, it was India all the way.
The visitors first piled up 281 runs on the board on the back of 86 from Punam Raut, a 90 from Smriti Mandhana and 71 from Mithali Raj. Three wickets from Deepti Sharma and two from Shikha Pandey ensured that England were bowled out for 246 despite 81 from Fran Wilson and 46 from Heather Knight.
When the heat was on in the chase, England lost the plot and their middle order ran itself out. However, the tables turned in the final as the two teams met for the trophy.
England had made it with a narrow two-wicket victory against South Africa in the first semi-final while India had romped home by 36 runs on the back of a career-best 115-ball 171-run carnage from Harmanpreet Kaur in the second semi-final against Australia.
For more than half of the match, England were playing catch up cricket. Batting first, both their openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont got starts but couldn't go past the 20s. Sarah Taylor, who was returning to the tournament after a break due to mental health, did her job with 45.
Heather Knight was the top-scorer with 51 off 68 deliveries, but the team kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Had it not been for the 34 from Katherine Brunt and 25 from Jenny Gunn towards the end, England wouldn't have even managed a respectable 228-run total.
Ideally, the team would have wanted at least 250 runs on the board to give their bowlers a fair chance of winning the title in their home conditions, but Jhulan Goswami came in their way. Goswami was the star for India and set the tone with a terrific new-ball spell of 5-2-9-0 and came back to snatch the momentum back from England with 5-1-14-3 in her second spell.
Smriti Mandhana, who had been terribly out of form after a couple of good knocks at the beginning of the tournament, took only four balls to depart for a duck. After a 39-run partnership between skipper Mithali Raj and opener Poonam Raut, the former stuck her spike in the ground and was unfortunately run-out.
However, India was in the box seat with a 95-run partnership between Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur, who was dismissed shortly after bringing up her half-century, and a 53-run partnership between Raut and Veda Krishnamurthy.
This is where the tables began to turn. Anya Shrubsole trapped Poonam Raut in front of the sticks. Sushma Verma, with an ODI average of 6.40, was promoted ahead of proven all-rounder Deepti Sharma. As Verma and Krishnamurthy departed within a gap of seven deliveries, the door was flung wide open for England to come back strongly into the game.
Krishnamurthy was going at over run a ball but seemed too reckless to last and ultimately perished against Anya Shrubsole, who was the star for England. Jhulan Goswami was bowled off a quick yorker for a golden duck.
Till Shikha Pandey was at the crease, England would have been a bit circumspect but once the pacer was run-out, India were left with their last pair of Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who as per expectations could add only one run.
Shrubsole registered best-ever figures in a women's World Cup with 6/46 and was the architect of the English win. When Jenny Gunn dropped a sitter off her bowling in the last over, Shrubsole gestured to her teammates to stay calm. She was confident that a wicket wasn't far away, and proved right as she rattled Rajeshwari Gaikwad's stumps.
England wrote history with a nine-run victory in a home World Cup final in front of a near full house at Lord's. Heather Knight and Co were successful in doing it two years before Eoin Morgan's men followed suit at the same venue.
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