Euro 2020 Special

2023 Women’s T20I World Cup Semi-Final Review: Brave India Fall Just Short


India’s campaign in the 2023 Women’s T20I World Cup is over.

They were beaten at the semi-final stage by Australia, the defending champions.

However, they can go home with their heads held high after pushing the defending champions all the way, losing by just five runs in the end in Cape Town.

This was a rematch of the 2020 final in Melbourne, which Australia won convincingly in the end. It was very different this time around, and the number one team in the world were given a mighty scare before finally booking their passage in Sunday’s final, where they will play either England or the hosts South Africa.


Match recap

It was Australia who won the toss and decided to bat first.

They were given a good start through Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney who put on 52 for the first wicket, before Healy was the first batter out, stumped off the bowling of Radha Yadav for 25.

Mooney and her captain Meg Lanning then came together, but India were guilty of missing their chances. Shefali Verma dropped Mooney when she had made 32, and Lanning was given a life with just a single to her name.

India were made to pay as Mooney went on to make 52, before she became one of Shikha Pandey’s two victims on the day.

Lanning would combine in a third wicket partnership of 53 with Ashleigh Gardner before the latter was dismissed for 31. Another 24 were scored off the last nine balls as Australia ended their innings on 172/4, with Lanning undefeated on 49. Her innings contained 2 sixes.

India made a terrible start to their reply. Verma fell in the second over for just 9, and then Smriti Mandhana, arguably their most potent weapon, was out just five balls later.

When Yastika Bhatia was out as well, India had slumped to 28/3 in the fourth over, and the match appeared as good as over.

Jemimah Rodrigues and captain Harmanpreet Kaur, though, had other ideas, and they began a counter-attack.

They added 69 off at the rate of ten runs an over, until Rodrigues was caught for 43. It had taken her only 24 balls, and she had struck 6 fours.

36 more runs were added before what proved to be a decisive moment, when Kaur was run out for 52, attempting an ill-advised run. She had faced 34 balls and struck a six and six fours of her own.

Soon afterwards Richa Ghosh also fell, but India kept themselves in the hunt through Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana who added 22 more for the seventh wicket, until Rana was out off the penultimate ball of the 19th over.

That left India with 16 needed to win off the final over, a task that ultimately proved beyond them, with one more wicket falling in the course of it. Sharma was left undefeated on 20, but the best her side could do in the end was 167-8.

Darcie Brown took 2 – 18 the best figures of any bowler in the match.


Closing the gap

India can take a lot of credit from how close they pushed the defending champions, with Lanning afterwards describing it as one of the best wins that she had been involved in, and admitting that she had become nervous several times before the end.

Arguably the difference on the day was the fielding. Australia did not make a mistake in the field, whilst India’s dropped catches proved very costly in the end.

They might also reflect that had Kaur been able to stay in for a few more overs, the result might have been very different.

However, the fact that they only suffered a narrow defeat suggests that the gap is closing and experiences such as losing a semi-final by such a narrow margin might stand the team good stead in the future.

Playing in the new women’s T20 franchise league which starts in India next week, can only help India’s international players. They will get to understand what it means to face high pressure match situations on a regular basis, and learn how to cope with them better. Whilst they will be disappointed not to have flown home with the trophy, they did not let themselves or India down.




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.