India's cup of woes overflows
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It didn't look like India's day from the very start even though Jhulan Goswami managed to dismiss opener Chamari Atapattu in the first over of Sri Lanka's innings. The bowling was too ragged. Both Goswami and Amita Sharma bowled far too many wide deliveries, allowing Yashoda Mendis and Deepika Rasangika easy options to collect boundaries, which the two did with ease. India lost control of proceedings too early in the piece, and never quite managed to restore parity in the contest.
Sri Lanka's charge was led by four half-centuries, each contrasting in its style. The lanky Mendis stood tall in her stance and drove and flicked with grace, her timing flawless on most occasions. Rasangika, who top-scored with 84, swatted and swung her bat against the line of the ball in kamikaze fashion from the moment she was promoted to No.3. She might have been fortuitous at times but the Indian bowling wasn't consistent enough to bring an end to the left-hander's audacity. The Lankan skipper on the other hand, her mannerisms before facing a delivery reminiscent of Mahela Jayawardene, showed an impressive ability to hit the gaps, and also used her feet well against the spinners. Eshani Kaushalya then bulldozed India out of the contest with a manic assault that left Goswami & Co as well as the stands at the CCI reeling. It probably was Kaushalya's unbeaten 31-ball 56 that knocked the wind out of India's sails as the Lankans piled on 282 in their 50 overs.
While a win seemed out of reach, India were set a target of 251 to at least ensure their passage past the first round. They never looked like getting anywhere close to either. Against a Sri Lankan attack, which possessed no real evil, Mithali Raj & Co batted like they'd seen the devil itself. They were too cagey, overawed and seemed bereft of ideas, and before long were reduced to 69/5. Reema Malhotra kept the tri-colour flying for a brief while but the curtains were soon drawn on India's World Cup dreams with the hosts being bowled out for 144.