About the Match
After a long tussle of 29 games, we are down to the last three teams, one of which has already made it to the finals. The other two, India and Australia will battle it out for the second finalist's slot on 20th July 2017 at County Ground, Derby. England became the first team to qualify for the finals when they defeated South Africa in a close contest on Nelson Mandela day. The winner of India - Australia will meet them over this weekend.
Australian Women have been clinical throughout the competition. They've lost only one game, to the team which they'd face in the finals if they win in the semifinal. The World's number 1 batswomen, Meg Lanning has been the star performer for them and is leading run getter in the tournament. However, her availability is for the semifinal is still not sure due to the shoulder injury which she sustained earlier in the competition.
Australia thrashed India in the league game played by Eight wickets. Chasing a total of 227, the batswomen chased the target without anyfuss. Australia have the best batting lineup in the tournament and their performance speaks of that. Meg Lanning, Elysse Perry, and Nicole Bolton have combined scored in excess of 1000 runs with an average of more than 85.
Their bowling too has done incredibly well with Schutt, Jess Jonassen, Kristen Beams, and Gardner doing superb work. Elysse Perry has been superb with her all-around skills in scoring runs as well picking up wickets. Aussies have been brilliant in the tournament and he really looked ruthless. Meg Lanning's absence can be a deciding factor which may give India slight opening to overpower the defending champions.
India have been a mixture of excellence and mediocrity in their run up to the tournament. Of all the matches played at Derby, they've been superb. However, at other venues, both their batting and bowling has struggled miserably. Their love for venue reflected in their match against the Kiwis where their bowling wrecked havoc.
In the games prior to that, India's form dipped as they lost to South Africa and Australia when they looked on rampage. Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Raut looked in stupendous form. They haven't carried on with the momentum since India's first three matches. It's been India's bowlers and Mitali Ray's batting which has been pillars of their success. They'll once again be banking on the same combination to deliver.
Derbyshire's slow wickets have been boon for Indian spinners where they've delivered constantly. Meg Lanning's absence might prove to be difference on a surface suiting India's style perfectly. Still India would have to play out of their skins considering and this might be their best chance to beat the defending champions.
India is perhaps India's best shot to get the glory, but in front of them is the best team of the tournament. Chances are Australia will play without their best player as far as batting I'd concerned which is a huge setback for them. Other players have chipped in beautifully for them and with the form Perry, Bolton and bowlers are in, it would still be tough for Indians to prevail over mighty Australian team. Australia are firm favorites to win this and progress to the semis.