Women’s World T20: Harmanpreet Kaur opens up about Mithali Raj’s omission from WWT20 semi-final against England

The Women in Blue suffered eight-wicket defeat in the semi-final against England.

Mithali had batted twice in WWT20 2018 and returned with the scores of 56 and 51 | Getty

India's decision to snub Mithali Raj from the semi-final of ICC Women's World T20 against England created a plenty of hue and cry as they suffered eight-wicket defeat in the all-important clash on Thursday.

Mithali had played two games in the tournament, registering the scores of 56 and 51 against Pakistan and Ireland respectively. Her experience might have come handy on a slow pitch in Antigua, where India got bundled out on 112. England chased down the paltry target with 2.5 overs to spare.

"Whatever we had decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but no regrets," Harmanpreet told reporters after the match.

"Sometimes you have to change your game according to the wicket. England bowled well, they read the wicket really well. Credit goes to them, we've learned a lot from this game. It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well to stretch the match till the 18th over," he added.

The Women in Blue qualified for the semi-final having won all their four matches. While Kaur and company defeated New Zealand by 34 runs in the tournament opener, they beat Pakistan by 7 wickets, Ireland by 52 runs and Australia by 48 runs in the next three encounters. 

Reflecting on the campaign, Harmanpreet said: "I'm proud of the way my girls played through the tournament. One bad game won't decide if we're a bad team or a good team. This is a learning process for us because we are a young team. I hope we play well in the upcoming tournaments. As we have a young team, we still need to work on our mental strength because we'll be playing more such games in future. If we can work on how to play under pressure, then we can change the way we play these games."

On the other hand, England captain Heather Knight was elated with her troops’ showing. She hailed her spinners for choking India in the death overs. India were 89 for 2 at one stage before they collapsed to 112 all out.

"The match got away from us a bit in the power-play, but the spinners bowled really well to bring us back. Kirstie (Gordon) has been outstanding on her first tour. Sophie (Ecclestone) is a young spinner and has shown a lot of quality over the last year or so,” Knight said.

"I think the conditions have been very tricky in St Lucia and then we've come here. The final is going to be a great game, hopefully we'll have a great atmosphere and a brilliant game of cricket," she added.

Amy Ellen Jones won adjudged Player of the Match award for her unbeaten 47-ball 53 batting at No. 3. She forged an unbeaten 92-run stand with Natalie Sciver (52 off 38) to help her team cross the line.

"Obviously just fantastic to get the win. Nat came in and took the pressure off straightaway. It was a brilliant stuff, big partnership. We basically just be there till the end. She was always telling me to run hard and we just wanted to be there at the end basically. Playing at 8pm gives you a lot of thinking time. We were playing high quality spinners. We planned a lot for the spinners and it paid off luckily for us," Amy Ellen Jones said.


By Salman Anjum - 23 Nov, 2018

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