Chasing 275 for victory, South Africa needed three runs off two balls with Mignon du Preez (51) on strike. It was their game to lose. But off-spinner Deepti Sharma had du Preez hole out to Harmanpreet Kaur at long-on. That would have meant three needed off the last ball with two tail-end batters at the crease, making India the favourites to seal the win and a semifinal spot.
It wasn’t just the no ball which cost India the game today but sometimes an inch costs moments that takes decades to achieve and are possibly once in a lifetime achievement for many players. Disappointing end to India’s campaign #IndvSA #cwc22 pic.twitter.com/2DzerovJD1
But while they were celebrating, a no-ball check found that Deepti had overstepped by the slenderest of margins. Not only was Du Preez recalled, South Africa got an extra ball – that too a free hit – and got home.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag also reacted on India missing the top-four berth by the barest of margins. Virender Sehwag shared a collage of Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Deepti Sharma overstepping in crucial games in the ICC events.
Ashwin and Hardik bowled no-balls in the World T20 semi-final in 2016 against West Indies, while Bumrah overstepped against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy 2017 final.
“It wasn’t just the no ball which cost India the game today but sometimes an inch costs moments that takes decades to achieve and are possibly once in a lifetime achievement for many players. Disappointing end to India’s campaign,” wrote Sehwag,” Sehwag wrote on Twitter.
India can blame misfortune for their ouster, but they also contributed to their own downfall. Dropped catches, poor ground fielding, uninspiring captaincy, and some clueless bowling towards the end meant last edition’s losing finalists ended their campaign at the Hagley Oval.
In possibly her last match for India, skipper Mithali Raj was left devastated along with her teammates.
India were not consistent enough to make the semifinals and ended fifth in the league stage with three wins and four losses.