Smriti Mandhana, whose knock of 83 helped propel India to a target of 167/8 against Australia in their final Group B game on Saturday, was full of praise for the way her teammates worked hard to defend the total.
“The way we bowled and fielded today was probably the best we did all tournament. In that aspect, this win was special,” said Mandhana at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Speaking about her own fluent knock, Mandhana sounded relieved that she had finally come to the party in the tournament.
“I feel quite relieved as I was getting starts but not converting them. I wanted to go out there and score big runs so I was glad that I could do it today.”
However, her big knock was almost curtailed earlier than it should have been. She was given out LBW off Sophie Molineux’s bowling but she chose to review what seemed like a cut and dry decision and the umpire’s call was eventually overturned.
“Whenever the ball hits my pads, I always think it is out, I don’t know why! But she (Veda Krishnamurthy) told me to take the review. Thanks to her, we got 20-30 runs extra.”
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was also full of praise for the way the team performed. “Credit must go to the girls for the way we played today. We worked really hard, today the fielding coach must be happy with the way we fielded.”
Jemimah Rodrigues, the 18-year-old opener, said that the win against powerhouses Australia will help India a great deal going into the last four.
“I think it’s important not just because it’s Australia, but for ourselves and our team, because we’ve got the momentum," said Rodrigues. “So we need to keep that momentum, keep doing the things, don’t focus mainly on the results. So I think it plays a huge impact on our team and I think we look forward to it, but not get carried away and try to do even better in the semi-finals."
Rodrigues was also effusive in praise of the bowling as well as the fielding which has been patchy in the tournament. The Indian fielders, who were found wanting in their game against Pakistan made sure the mistakes weren’t repeated.
“I think we bowled really well. We stuck to our plans, what we decided. And I think more than sticking to the plans the execution was really amazing by the bowlers, and the fielding also proved it. So I think it was a really good one today," Rodrigues said.
“We worked more on fielding. Some of us were hitting it and we took more catches, and we got used to the weather conditions. So I think so that played an impact."
Australia captain Meg Lanning, meanwhile, provided an update on wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy, who suffered a nasty blow to the head in the first innings and couldn’t come out to bat as a result.
“She’s (Healy) okay. We will look after her and hopefully, she should be alright for the semi-finals. But we have a lot to work on from here.”
The semi-finals of the tournament will be held on November 22.