The last league game of the 2022 ICC Women's World Cup was too hot to handle for the viewers, especially for Indian fans. The ebbs and flows of the game got the best out of the Women in Blue as they failed to qualify for the big semifinals. Mithali Raj and Co. were ousted by a better-placed South Africa as Sune Luus' team won the final game of the league stage by three wickets.
It was one of those dramatic games which showed almost everything. India came to the game knowing a loss can knock them out of the tournament. On the other hand, South Africa were here to consolidate their position. But it was not a walk in the park for South Africa as India played to their potential to make the run chase pretty tough.
At one moment, it seemed India Women were walking home with the game, but it could not happen as Deepti Sharma faltered at a crucial juncture. Sharma was called to bowl the important last over with 7 needed off the last six balls. The spinner looked in control till the fourth delivery. On the fifth delivery of the over, with three runs needed, Sharma bowled a beautiful loopy delivery to lure Mignon du Preez into a fancy lofted shot, which she did. But could not time it well. Resultantly, she miscued the shot into the hands of Harmanpreet Kaur at log on.
It seemed like India Women almost won the game but there was the drama that none of the Indians wanted. As Preez was walking back to the pavilion, the on-field umpire asked her to stay and checked for a no-ball. And guess what! Sharma had overstepped. The spinner could not keep the required amount of her boot inside the line giving Preez a reprieve and eventually giving the game away.
Watch the moment here:
With this loss, Mithali Raj and the girls were knocked out of the World Cup as West Indies pipped them by one point to enter the semifinals. England, Australia, and South Africa are the three other teams to qualify for the semis. The first semifinal will be played between Australia and West Indies on 30 March. Meanwhile, England and South Arica will battle it out in the second semifinal on 31 March. The summit clash has been scheduled for 3 April.