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England Wins Women's World Cup 2017, Mithali Blames Inexperience For Loss

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| July 24 , 2017 , 17:29 IST

It was a case of 'so near and yet so far' for India as they suffered a spectacular middle and lower order batting collapse to lose by nine runs to England in a nail-biting final of the ICC Women's World Cup here on Sunday.

Mithali Raj rued that the inexperience of her teammates and their inability to hold their nerves during the crucial moments proved to be the difference between the two teams in the final.

This was the fourth World Cup title for the English girls. They had earlier emerged champions in 1973, 1993 and 2009.

They are the second most successful nation in this tournament after Australia who has seven titles to their name.

It was deja vu for India as this is the second time they have fallen at the final hurdle. They had lost by 98 runs to Australia in the final of the 2005 edition.

Electing to bat first, England produced a competitive total of 228 for seven in their 50 overs.

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The Indian eves rode on half-centuries from opener Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur to almost overhaul the target. 

Raut played a crucial knock, guiding the Indian innings right from the start and almost batted till the end. She was the highest scorer among the Indians with 86 runs from 115 balls with four boundaries and a six.

By the time she was trapped leg before by England pacer Anya Shrubsole, India was in sight of victory, needing 38 runs from 41 balls.

The in-form Harmanpreet produced solid innings of 51 runs, with three boundaries and two hits into the stands studying her 80-ball stay in the middle.

Punam and Harmanpreet added 95 runs between them in 128 balls and helped to steady the Indian innings following the loss of two early wickets.

However, the Indian eves seemed to lose their wits towards the end, losing seven wickets for just 28 runs to be all out for 219 runs in 48.4 overs.

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Anya turned the match in England's favour with figures of 6/46 in her 9.4 overs including the crucial wickets of Punam, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet and Jhulan Goswami.

Earlier, England had posted a competitive total in their 50 overs. Natalie Sciver (51), Sarah Taylor (45) and Katherine Brunt (34) were the major contributors for England.

For India, who are playing their second final till date, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami bagged 3/23, while spinner Poonam Yadav took 2/36.

After opting to bat, Lauren Winfield (24) and Tammy Beaumont (23) provided the hosts with a strong start, putting up 47 runs for the opening wicket. While Indian pace ace Jhulan kept it tight from one end, Sikha Pandey leaked 28 runs in her first spell of four overs.

Mithali Raj in the post match presentation said, "It wasn't easy for England but credit to them for holding their nerve. There was as time when the match was in the balance and could have gone either way. But that was the situation when we panicked and they came out victorious. England did well in those crunch moments which turned the game."

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