The pain didn’t tell the full story

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ICC WOMEN’S Entire world CUP, 2017

India agonisingly lost the final by 9 runs.

India agonisingly dropped the remaining by 9 runs. © Getty

The agony on the confront of each and every Indian participant at the finish of the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket Entire world Cup Final at Lord’s was palpable. Right after just one of the most thrilling finals at Lord’s, not just in modern years but down the decades, it was heartbreaking to see India fold when they had the match in their grasp at 193/3, chasing 229 to conquer England and raise the 2017 Women’s Entire world Cup. It was there in their sights, in their minds, in their hearts, and then it fell out of their grasp. And when Rajeshwari Gayakwad turned the last wicket to slide – bowled initial ball by England’s Anya Shrubsole to depart India just nine runs shorter of their concentrate on – the agony begun: the damage, the anguish, the drain of all nine matches that India had played to get to the grand finale at Lord’s.

Nine runs. That is all the variation was in between the two sides at the finish of an intoxicating thirty day period of women’s cricket. India have been coasting along in the remaining with Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur in complete regulate with a 3rd-wicket partnership that was having the video game absent from England. Then Harmanpreet went for another massive hit off England’s diminutive still left arm-spinner, Alex Hartley, but compared with the earlier two monster hits, this just one didn’t obtain the middle of the bat. The ball identified Tammy Beaumont at deep square in front of the Lord’s grandstand and the partnership ended just five runs shorter of a hundred.

How could Harmanpreet have perished? She was indestructible towards the mighty Australians in the semi-remaining in Derby when she smashed the defending champions to all components of the floor for what former England captain, Charlotte Edwards, in the television commentary box explained as “the biggest innings I have at any time viewed.” In the context of this match – a semi-remaining towards the defending Entire world Cup Champions – it certainly was, and not just in the women’s video game people of us in the commentary box that working day who have been privileged to see batting at its zenith have been of the very same feeling. It was up there with the finest innings we had at any time viewed.

Punam Raut scored 86 in the opening match of the match towards the very same opponents in the remaining, and she scored 86 in the remaining as nicely, and Veda Krishnamurthy deployed a gung-ho strategy to receiving India in excess of the line, but they each perished in the lead to, and so did India’s young warriors, as England sensed that the grand prize was edging towards their grasp, with the raucous household crowd driving the women in dim blue. And in a flash – the last five Indian wickets slipping for 19 runs – it was all in excess of. India’s gentle blue appeared grey as if they had no far more blood to give. England jumped for joy, they hollered and they embraced. India’s proud women walked off forlornly to sit on the sidelines on the boundary’s edge, but they had been on the biggest stage of all, and they appeared the element. It was that near.

The agony might linger for some time with some of the young gamers but they will have their possibility yet again. Who understands for two champions of Indian women’s cricket – Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami – for whom the cricketing environment has the highest respect. India’s captain achieved the milestone of turning into the only woman cricketer to score 6000 One-Day global runs. Jhulan Goswami, with 195 ODI wickets, is the highest wicket-taker of all time. With two of the game’s biggest flag-bearers in the side, it was quick to see how the young gamers followed their lead, and it stirred deep feelings.

Punam Raut was the quietest, unsung hero in the entire match. Opening the batting, she scored 381 runs in 9 innings, only 28 runs shorter of Mithali Raj, and 29 runs shorter of the tournament’s leading run-scorer, England’s Tammy Beaumont, who was voted the Player of the Match. Fourteen far more runs and she would have scored a century in a Entire world Cup remaining, and perhaps she would have been the Player of the Match. But we can only aspiration of fairytales.

Mithali Raj led the side with undiluted pride and belief in her capability to score runs and established an case in point – the second highest run-scorer in the match. Harmanpreet Kaur showcased her gifted batting capabilities to a world wide viewers that broke all records for television viewing figures. On that working day she broke Australia’s hearts. She is most likely to return to Australia to enjoy Women’s Massive Bash League for Sydney Thunder and she will put quantities on the gate, just as Viv Richards put quantities on the gate when he was in the side.

Smriti Mandhana started her campaign in a blaze of easy batting with a 90 towards England in the opening match and then a century towards the West Indies in the future, but immediately after that, the runs dried up and her overall body and brain didn’t appear to be in harmony. Smriti will be again. She’s just 21 years old and she could enjoy in a few far more Entire world Cups.

And then there was Deepti Sharma, 19 years of age, a gun fielder, a shining gentle that shone brightly through the match. She was the source of so several very good items occurring for India – 216 runs, with a highest score of 78 on a tricky pitch towards Sri Lanka, and a prime score of 60 in India’s worst batting overall performance of the match, towards South Africa. Her runs for India put her in advance of some of the largest names in the video game at the finish of the match – Alex Blackwell, Amy Satterthwaite, Sophie Devine, Deandra Dottin, Stafanie Taylor, Hayley Matthews, Elyse Villani and Laura Winfield. With her off-breaks, she took 12 wickets and ended up as joint 3rd-highest wicket-taker, with only the two South Africans, Dane van Niekerk, the leading wicket-taker with 15, and Marizanne Kapp with 13, in advance. Deepti is the long term for India, all over whom the side should really be built. She reminded me of the way in which Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja performed for India when they won the ICC Under-19 Entire world Cup in Malaysia in 2008.

Poonam Yadav teased with her looping leg-breaks and she can go on from this campaign and at the age of 25 glance ahead to the future Women’s Entire world Cup, as can Sushma Verma, who appeared so cozy driving the stumps.

The 2017 ICC Women’s Entire world Cup was just one of the most worthwhile and richly entertaining tournaments in memory and it put women’s cricket into the world wide psyche. The honours boards within the Lord’s Pavilion will be adorned with female cricketers’ names in the long term. The landscape for the women’s video game has modified incalculably. For so several of the early pioneers of women’s cricket, theirs has been a painful journey, but very little in existence will come quick, and on situations such as a Entire world Cup remaining, there is agony for the getting rid of side. It was India’s heartache in 2017. In four years’ time, assume these women in blue to inflict agony on others.

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