India beat Australia in Women's World Cup

The Sydney News.Net
Saturday 14th March, 2009 (IANS)

Sydney, March 14 (IANS) Anjum Chopra scored 76 to lead India to a 16-run win over Australia in a crucial Super Six match of the Women's World Cup 2009 at the North Sydney Oval Saturday.

In a repeat of the 2005 World Cup final, India put up a methodical batting performance to score 234-5 in 50 overs. Chopra was well supported by Anagha Deshpande (45) and Mithali Raj (44)

The home team finished at 218-7 in 50 overs, 16 runs short of target. Australia made a solid start but was later tied in knots by the Indian bowlers, who were well backed-up by smart fielding.

It was India's best performance in the tournament to date to win its first match against the five-time world champions in nearly 25 months. It was also India's first victory against Australia after six straight defeats and only the sixth win in 33 ODIs.

The victory gave India two vital points and put it on four points, while the defeat has left Australia in fourth place with two points. India's remaining matches are against New Zealand Tuesday and against the West Indies Thursday, while Australia plays Pakistan Monday and then England in its last match Thursday.

It was Australia's fourth defeat in eight matches in the last couple of months.

Put in, India made a slow but confident start, reaching 82-1 at the halfway mark with Chopra anchoring the innings. In association with Anagha Deshpande, Chopra put on 69 runs for the first wicket. Despande dominated the stand with a fluent 62-ball 45 that included seven fours. She was one of the three victims of Lisa Sthalekar, who finished with figures of 3-52.

With India on 92-2, Chopra found a reliable ally in Raj, who continued her excellent form by scoring freely.

The duo added 76 runs for the third wicket from 78 balls before the partnership was broken when Chopra, adjudged player of the match, fell to Rene Farrell. She hit six fours and a six off Delissa Kimmince.

Raj soon followed Chopra in the dressing room after scoring a 50-ball 44 that included four fours. The lower order launched a late assault that saw India collecting 87 runs off the last 10 overs, including 44 off the batting PowerPlay. Amita Sharma (31) and Harmanpreet Kaur (19 not out) did further damage.

Australia reached 41-0 before losing three wickets for 12 runs in 25 balls to slump to 53-3. Alex Blackwell (54 off 105 balls) and Jodie Fields (43 off 59) put the home team back on track with a 68-run fourth wicket partnership.

But the departure of both the batsmen in the space of 18 runs ended all Australia hopes.

For India, Gouher Sultana bagged 2-33 while leg-spinner Reema Malhotra picked up the prized scalps of Blackwell and Fields to finish with 2-32.

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