“Yeah, it did,” said India captain Mithali Raj when asked if the memories of Lord’s finale came rushing back to her. “Because at one point we needed 35 (sic) runs and that’s when Smriti got out. But we still had five wickets in hand. I think what the tail did not manage at the World Cup final they managed to do today.
“Quite proud of Poonam and Ekta Bisht, who held their nerves at crucial times and got us through. It was an eye-opener for all of us to know that though we have a top order in place we require a lower middle-order and the tail to contribute in such games where we get a start but somewhere in the middle overs if we lose back-to-back wickets it is important that the bowlers score runs,” added Raj, who also featured in her 192nd ODI to become the most-capped player in the format.
“Poonam bowled really well; got us the back into the game,” Mithali said. “At one point when the England openers were going really well, she got us those three wickets in a couple of overs, and that put the brakes on the runs.”
India’s chase got off to a good start, thanks to Mandhana Smriti’s atypically patient 86 at the top of the order.
“It was a very different innings for me. I have never played this slow ever in my life, but I had to play according to the condition,” Mandhana said after the game.