Australia, India battle for women’s World Cup final berth

DERBY: India may be more familiar than Australia with surroundings in Derby but Nicole Bolton is confident the world champions can win anywhere if they produce their best cricket in the second semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup on Thursday.


Mithali Raj’s Indian side has won all four of the games they have played at the County Ground in Derby, including against host England in the opening match of the tournament.

But it was Australia who came out on top when the two sides met at Bristol in the group stage as skipper Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry both made unbeaten half-centuries.

Bolton, who has scored 337 runs at 56.16 in the tournament thus far, is confident Australia can adapt quickly to conditions in Derby and book a place in Sunday’s final against hosts England at Lord’s.

“We’ll make sure we’re really clear what our plans are. On any given day, it’s irrelevant where we play, if we play our best cricket hopefully we’ll win the match,” the Aussie opener said. “India have played a couple of matches at Derby as well so they’ll be pretty familiar with the conditions as well. We’ll have to do a bit of homework, look at the conditions and see what Derby has to offer because I think India will come out and really take it to us.”

India captain Raj has been in fine form with the bat herself though, scoring 356 runs in seven innings and becoming the first woman to surpass 6,000 runs in one-day cricket in the process.

She scored 69 in defeat to the Australians earlier in the competition but knows that counts for nothing on Thursday.

“It’s all about how the teams respond to the situation and the conditions on the day,” she said. “How the players play the situation is important because having said that Derby is our home ground, you need to perform on that day to win.

“We’ve played a lot of the group stage here, four games, so we are aware of the conditions and that is our advantage.

“But Australia are a very good side and have a lot of players who have played in high-pressure games. But for this Indian team, it is going to be a big game and if we can pull out one win, it will be exceptional by the team.”

Teams (from):
AUSTRALIA: Meg Lanning (captain), Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington.

INDIA: Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Poonam, Nuzhat Parween, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma.

Umpires: Shaun George (South Africa) and Ahsan Raza (Pakistan).

TV umpire: Adrian Holdstock (South Africa).

Match referee: David Jukes (England).



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