The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah lauded Team India for their efforts against Australia in the semi-finals of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 despite suffering a heartbreaking defeat against Aussies by 5-runs on Thursday. India’s wait for a world title continued as they succumbed to a heartbreaking five-run loss to Australia in the semifinal of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on Thursday, where nerves of Aussies prevailed over top knocks from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues. Australia are through to the finals. They will play either England or South Africa in the summit clash.

“A tough loss for @BCCIWomen against Australia in the #ICCWomensT20WorldCup, but we couldn’t be prouder of our girls for their spirit on the field. The team gave it their all & showed that they are true warriors. We stand with you, Women in Blue! #INDWvsAUSW,” Jay Shah tweeted on Thursday.

Coming to the match, chasing 173, India was off to a terrible start. They lost three wickets before the end of the powerplay. Megan Schutt started India’s fall of wickets, dismissing opener Shafali Verma for just nine runs. India was 11/1 in 1.3 overs. Ashleigh Gardner delivered another big blow to India, dismissing Smriti Mandhana for just two runs. India was 15/2 in 2.2 overs. Yastika Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues tried rebuilding for Team India, but Yastika had to go back to the pavilion after a run out for just four runs. India was 28/3 in 3.4 overs, in a huge spot of bother.

India reached the 50-run mark in 5.1 overs. At the end of the mandatory powerplay after six overs, India was 59/3. The pair of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (28*) and Jemimah (25*) had upped the run rate during the remainder of the powerplay. Harmanpreet-Jemimah brought up their 50-run partnership in just 31 balls.

At the end of 10 overs, India was 93/3, with Jemimah (39*) and Harmanpreet (33*) unbeaten at the crease.Just when India was looking threatening, Darcie Brown stepped up to give Australia a breakthrough by dismissing Jemimah for 43 off 24 balls. India was 97/4 in 10.2 overs. The finisher and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh took to the crease. With her being in fine form, her arrival was a huge moment in the match.

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Harmanpreet delivered big time and made a return to form where it mattered the most, bringing up her 10th T20I fifty in just 32 balls, with six fours and a six. But Australia delivered yet another game-changing moment in the game, after Harmanpreet was run out for 52 off 34 balls by the duo of Gardner and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. Half of the Indian lineup was inside the hut for 133 runs.

Deepti Sharma, the all-rounder was next up on the crease. At the end of 15 overs, India was 134/5, with Richa (14*) and Deepti (1*) unbeaten. India needed 39 in the final five overs. Australia got another big scalp of in-form Richa for 14. Darcie took yet another game-changing wicket for the Aussies. India was 135/6 in 16 overs, needing 38 in the final four overs.

At the end of 17 overs, India was 142/6, needing 31 in the final three overs. India crossed the 150-run mark in 17.3 overs with a four from Sneh Rana. In the final two overs, India needed 20 runs. In the final over, India needed 16. Jess Jonassen had taken the wicket of Rana on the last ball of the 19th over for 11 runs. India was 157/7 in 19 overs. Radha Yadav was dismissed for a duck. India was 162/8 in 19.4 overs.

Shikha Pandey was next up on the crease. But India failed to chase the target, finishing at 167/8 in 20 overs. Shika (1*) and Deepti (20*) were unbeaten. Darcie ended as the pick of the bowlers for Australia, with 2/18. Gardner took two wickets, while Schutt and Jonassen picked one each. Earlier, Beth Mooney’s sublime 54 and Meg Lanning’s fiery unbeaten knock of 49 runs propelled Australia to 172/4 against India in the first semi-final at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 here at Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday.

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