Mithali Raj’s heartbreak continued as India lost to England by nine runs in the final of the Women’s World Cup at Lord’s on Sunday. She was the captain of the Indian team that lost to Australia in the final of the Women’s World Cup back in 2005 at Centurion as well.Ahead of the big final, Mithali had said that she wanted to go a step further and lift the Cup this time.”It’s been seven years since we qualified for the final and 12 years since we reached the final. So, the girls want to do well. 2005 we were runners-up and this time I want to go one step further,” said the Indian captain.But her poor luck continued. Mithali and Jhulan Goswami were the only players from the 2005 team and both sounded positive about a victory after the English were restricted to 228/7 from their 50 overs and India were on course for a victory after a flying start.But, England pulled off a remarkable comeback to bowl India out for 219 and lift their fourth World Cup.GOOD TOURNAMENT FOR THE VETERANSMithali and Jhulan both stood up in the tournament. While Mithali finished as the second highest run-getter with 409 from nine games in the tournament, Goswami picked up 10 wickets in this year’s edition. Although Mithali missed out in the final, Goswami did not. She came up with an inspiring performance in the final to help India restrict England 228/7.Meanwhile, the India captain was the most consistent player of the tournament. She got runs in most of the matches and led the team brilliantly and showed great calmness under pressure. The 34-year-old stood up and hammered a century against New Zealand in a must-win game for India and also played an important knock of 36 against Australia in the semis. She formed an important partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur to stabilise the innings before the all-rounder smashed her way to a 115-ball 171*.advertisementOn a personal note, Mithali became the first woman to score seven consecutive fifties in One-Day Internationals. Not only that, she is currently the highest run scorer in ODIs with 6190 runs from 186 matches and averages a whopping 51.58. She has hit six centuries and 49 half-centuries.
India’s Sameer Verma dished out a dominating performance to outclass Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in straight games to keep his hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage alive at the BWF World Tour Finals here Thursday.World No.14 Sameer, who qualified for the tournament at the last moment after defending his title at the Syed Modi International last month, looked at ease against the 10th ranked Sugiarto, defeating him 21-16 21-7 in a 40-minute Group B clash.The 24-year-old Indian, who had lost the opening match against world no 1 and world champion Kento Momota, will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen next on Friday. He had defeated Wangcharoen en route to his Swiss Open title but lost at the Thailand Open this year.Sameer had come into the tournament with a 1-1 head-to-head record against the Indonesian and he looked comfortable as his sharp game made life difficult for his opponent.The Indian lagged 1-3 and 5-6 initially but he soon wrested the lead with four straight points before entering the break at 11-7.Sugiarto stried to stage a comeback and narrowed the deficit to 16-17 but Sameer reeled off the remaining four points to earn the bragging rights.In the second game, Sugiarto again took a slender 5-3 advantage early on but the Indian soon stamped his authority to move from 7-6 to 16-6 with a nine-point burst and then slammed the door on his rival with another five straight points.Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu will take on World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in a Group A women’s singles match later in the day.advertisementThe top two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals, after which a knockout draw will be conducted.(With PTI inputs)