Raj rues missed chances
Mithali Raj, India's captain, reflected on a game that got away after Maria Fahey and Sarah McGlashan set up New Zealand's third straight victory in the quadrangular tournament. Fahey was dropped twice in her innings of 59 and her wicket early on could have changed things around for India.
"We were 20 to 30 runs short of a good score," said Raj, "but if we had taken those chances that we got off Fahey then probably the lower middle-order would have been exposed to Jhulan [Goswami] much earlier and given us a chance to win."
The beneficiary of the chances, Fahey, herself agreed that Goswami had bowled really accuratly as had the Indian spinners. Goswami's first spell of seven overs got her three wickets for 18 runs. She claimed a fourth wicket by dismissing Sarah Tsukigawa for 14 and ended with figures of 4 for 26. "After the first two wickets fell my plan was to just build a partnership with [Sarah] McGlashan which worked out for us," said Fahey.
Haidee Tiffen, the New Zealand captain, felt that her side should have won it long before crossing the line. "We bowled really well and it was a pretty good wicket," she said. "But once the partnership [between Fahey and McGlashan] was broken wickets began to fall, to be honest, to stupid shots and not too bad a bowling."
Tiffen also explained that they brought in Tsukigawa, who took 3 for 33, as late as the 40th over because they had planned to play two spinners in the match. Tsukigawa herself felt that the pitch had less bounce for fast bowlers and that the spinners had bowled well.
Hemlata Kala was the only Indian batsman who made any sort of impact on the scoring but without any significant partnerships Kala's 69 was far too little to boost India to a position through which they could dictate the terms. However, she felt that Tsukigawa was effective only because she was bowling right at the end when the Indian batsmen were going for the runs.
"The New Zealand bowling wasn't too tough but it's just that everyone has their good days. This was one such day for me." Kala also agreed with her captain that if chances off Fahey along with some run out attempts had been converted India could have won the game
After a two-day break, the fixtures are repeated with India playing England at Chepauk and New Zealand playing Australia at the IIT Chemplast Ground on February 28.