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India finishes third in women's World Cup cricket

India beat defending champions Australia by three wickets in a playoff to finish third in women's World Cup cricket at Bankstown Oval in Sydney on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2009 00:42 IST

India beat defending champions Australia by three wickets in a playoff to finish third in women's World Cup cricket at Bankstown Oval in Sydney on Saturday.

The Indian bowlers ran through the Australian batting order, bundling out the hosts for 142 in 44.4 overs with just three batters - captain Karen Rolton (52), Lisa Sthalekar (30) and Alex Blackwell (19) — managing double digit scores. Indian skipper Jhulan Goswami and Rumeli Dhar were the pick of the bowlers, snaring two wickets each.

India's chase was not smooth sailing either and they faltered and fumbled before eventually reaching 145 for seven wickets in 43.5 overs in the tie which was reduced to 46-overs-a-side following rain. Sthalekar (3 for 27), Erin Osborne (2 for 21) and Ellyse Perry (2 for 26) were the best of the Australian bowlers.

This was India's second victory over Australia whom they had earlier beaten by 16 runs in the Super Six stage. Rolton's decision to bat first backfired with Jhulan castling Leah Poulton with the fourth delivery of the day. Shelley Nitschke (6), the other opener, too didn't last long as Rumeli removed her in the sixth over to reduce the hosts to eight for two.

Rolton and Blackwell steadied the ship before India's left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana removed Blackwell and Australia soon lost the top half of their batting order for a mere 63.

Rolton found an able ally in the Pune-born Sthalekar and they put on 60 runs before spinner Priyanka Roy removed the Australian captain to trigger a batting collapse and the hosts eventually folded up for 142 runs. India got off to a decent start with opener Anjum Chopra (18) and Anagha Deshpande (15) adding 33 runs before Erin Osborne removed both in successive overs.