After the Indian men were booted out of the World T20, all eyes turned to the women, but it turned out to be just one day in the sun. A committed and skilled Australian team were too far ahead for India to even make a match of it. After putting 119 on the board Jhulan Goswami and her team watched helplessly as Australia romped to a seven-wicket win.
While 120 is not a massive target, it is a reasonable one to defend in women's cricket, and when skipper Jhulan Goswami prised out opener Elyse Villani early in the innings, Indian hopes were raised. But skipper Alex Blackwell, whose job in the real world is that of a lecturer, taught India a proper lesson with a career-best 61.
The feature of Alex's innings was the control and poise she displayed. It certainly helped that India's main strength, their spinners, didn't being their A game to the park. Priyanka Roy, the leggie, had a shocker, beginning her spell with four full tosses, three of which were dispatched to the fence. That set the tone for the innings.
“Our spinners had an off-day today. They have been doing really well till now, but unfortunately for us today they couldn't do much,” said Jhulan.
For Alex, the prospect of Australia winning both the men's and women's titles jointly was a huge motivation. “It would be amazing,” said Blackwell. “It would be a first, I think, to have teams from the same country winning both the men's and women's titles. We are going to give it a red-hot go in the final.”
If their semifinal performance is any indicator, the Australian women's team can take it a bit easy before their final. Skipper Alex can go back to her books, as she so often does between matches, to catch up on preparation for her day job for when the cricket is over. For just a couple of days more, though, Alex can stick to the cricket.
Brief Scores: India: 119/5 in 20 overs (Poonam Raut 44, Harmanpreet Kaur 24; Ellyse Perry 1/19). Australia: 123/3 in 18.5 overs (Alex Blackwell 61, Leah Pouton 30 not out, Shelley Nitschke 22; Priyanka Roy 2/27).