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    April 11, 2005

    Australia thrash India to win World Cup final

    No, we're not in a time warp here. This is the women's tournament. The result is still the same though. The Indian women's cricket team were unable to surpass the men's team's achievement of reaching the World Cup final. They emulated the men's team by being beaten by Australia in the final. The margin of victory for the girls was lesser than what the men achieved, but both were thrashings.

    Of course, it is also unfair to compare the two since there is a world of a difference in the way the men's and women's teams are feted. We can only hope that the progress made by this team will be remembered for a while and not forgotten by the time the next one-dayer against Pakistan gets underway.

    The Indian bowlers bowled very well early on and had Australia in trouble at 31/2 in the 11th over, with skipper Clark and Keightly dismissed. Karen Rolton, who held the individual score record for precisely three tests before Mithali Raj took over, chose the right stage to show why she is among the best in the game. Her first partnership with Melanie Jones steadied things before Jones was out in the 25th over with the score on 71. The clincher partnership for Australia was when Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar, born in Pune, put on 140 runs in 25 overs. India's bowlers and fielders were ineffectual from the time the two got together and when Amita Sharma dropped Rolton when she had only made 60, it was to prove to be a very costly miss. Err, or is that Ms.? Pun completely intended! Sthalekar only made 55 in that stand, but those runs were really crucial under the circumstances. Rolton reached her century, the first ever made in a world cup final, off just 126 deliveries and remained not out on 107. For India, the bowlers were all tidy without being threatening and Rolton superbly ensured that the spinners did not get too many wickets.

    India's reply was a total disaster, with wickets falling too rapidly due to run-outs. Four out of the top six were dismissed in that manner and when Mithali Raj was ruled out lbw, the game was over. The opening stand was 14, made in 8 overs. The rest of the partnerships were also pitiful and the highest was 29 runs for the 7th wicket. By that time, obviously, the situation was beyond retrieval. Only Anju Jain and Amita Sharma got past 20. The Indian strategy had been to ensure that Fitzpatrick didnt get too many early wickets. They were successful in implementing it, except that they were still six down by the 25th over.

    Karen Rolton was named player of the match and the tournament. Australia's victory could also mean an end to the careers of 35 year old skipper Belinda Clark and 37 year old quick Cathryn Fitzpatrick. Clark still holds the record for the highest individual score in men's and women's one-day internationals.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:34 PM |
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