Mithali steers India into super six

Published: Friday, March 13, 2009, 8:55 [IST]
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Sydney: India recovered from 78-7 to beat Sri Lanka by seven 35 runs to progress onto the Super Six stage in the Women's World Cup.

Mithali Raj was the star of the show for India as she made 75 not out to help India reach 137-7 from their 50 overs.

Although a low total, it proved to be enough for the Indians as their bowlers, led by Amita Sharma kept Sri Lanka under wraps as they could muster just 103 all out in response.

Bowlers were on top throughout the match at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney, with just three Indian batswomen managed to get up to double figures as they batted first.

Chamari Polgampola led the Sri Lanka bowlers with 2-17, ably assisted by Prabodani collected (2-20) and Suwini de Alwis (2-34).

As wickets tumbled around her, Raj kept her cool and dug in, but it did not look good when Sharma was out for two to leave the score on 78-7.

However, Raj and Jhulan Goswami managed to add what proved a valuable 59 runs between them in the remaining overs, taking the score on to 137.

Raj was unbeaten on 75, with her battling knock coming from 120 balls and including one boundary, while Goswami made a spritely 24 from 27 with two fours.

Sri Lanka started well in their response with an opening stand of 37 between Dedunu de Silva (21) and Polgampola (12), but the Indian bowlers responded.

Sharma took 3-19, Rumeli Dhar 2-10 and Gouher Sultana snared 2-16 to restrict the Sri Lankans to 102 all out with 5.4 overs to spare.

"We did struggle in those initial overs when we were four down for 38 runs," said Rahj. "So there was a lot of pressure.

"We are very relieved that we won this very close match. It's still not going to be easy for us in the Super Six stage because we have tough sides like Australia and New Zealand but I think we should play good cricket in the forthcoming three matches."

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