Harmanpreet Kaur's unbeaten 115-ball 171, the second-highest score in World Cups, set the tone for India's 281 for 4 in a rain-curtailed match.
However, they refused to surrender as Ellyse Perry (38) and Elyse Villani (75) added 105 runs to build some hopes but India bounced back by picking six wickets in a span of 43 runs as Australia were down to 169 for nine. The women-in-blue will be expected to repeat the spectacular show on Sunday when India will play England in a World Cup final at Lord's.
India, who reached their only previous final in 2005, had experienced a disappointing start of their own as they sunk to 101-3, including the dismissal of inspirational captain Raj for 36.
The 28-year old cricketer hailing from Moga in Punjab had earned acclaim in the T20 circuit, becoming the first Indian to be picked for the Big Bash League and the Kia Super League. Australia were well and truly on top but after that Kaur steadily built up her innings pressing the accelerator harder and harder as the innings progressed.
"I told Sharma to rotate the strike, you don't need to take the pressure, I could take the responsibility".
Kaur was at her attacking best at 101/3. Come on India- Let's go out and win the second half of the game as well. India has a fierce opponent in Australia. Australian openers are in form so is their inspirational captain and number three Meg Lanning.
"We're going to have a real contest on our hands". They eventually got bowled out for 245.
Lannings turned to her opening bowler Ashleigh Gardner, unable to stop her carnage, but it only resulted in Kaur milking the pacer for 23 runs, which included two consecutive sixes and as many boundaries in an over. All said and done, everything happens for a reason.
Harmanpreet won the Man of the Match Award as expected for her brilliant knock. "She will be in better shape and experience to take along".
The game looked cooked at that point, with Australia requiring 113 from the final 57 balls.
"We know the squad won't be making any excuses for their defeat". I'm feeling really good now.
"They have performed well throughout the tournament in the run-up to the finals". India might have relied exclusively on Raj's batting back then.
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