In a virtual quarter-final clash against New Zealand, Mithali Raj's magnificent century and Rajeshwari Gayakwad's maiden five-wicket haul helped India hammer the Kiwis by 186 runs as they booked a semi-final berth in the 2017 Women's World Cup.
Chasing a healthy 266, New Zealand crumbled under pressure and failed to offer any kind of resistance as Rajeshwari, playing her first match of the tournament, spun a web to skittle them out for a meagre 79 in the do-or-die final group tie.
The New Zealanders found themselves three down in the 11th over and after a brief, ineffective resistance from Amy Satterthwaite (26) and Sophie Devine, they fell like nine pins as the Indian bowlers maintained an immaculate line throughout.
Such was the havoc created by the Indian bowlers that only three of New Zealand's batters — Amy, Katey Martin (12) and Amelia Kerr (12 not out) — managed to reach double figures.
Rajeshwari was well assisted by off-spinner Deepti Sharma (2/26) while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Poonam Yadav took a wicket apiece.
Twitter erupted with joy as soon as Raj and Co made it to the semis. Here are some of the best reactions:
The official confirmation....
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 15, 2017
Peaking at the right time?
Finally, a perfect game for India! Superb with both bat and ball. What a day to pull this performance out of the bag. Semi-final beckons! — Ananya Upendran (@a_upendran11) July 15, 2017
— Dileep Premachandran (@SpiceBoxofEarth) July 15, 2017
It certainly was
Wow, cometh the hour.....Brilliant performance from India's women. New Zealand were a fancied team going into the tournament
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 15, 2017
This was her first match in the World Cup. Talk about making a first impression.
This is an 'I was there moment'! India have been searching for the perfect game all tournament, and they find it in the QF! — Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) July 15, 2017
New Zealand certainly struggled against the Indian spinners.
Published Date: Jul 15, 2017 23:40 PM | Updated Date: Jul 15, 2017 23:40 PM