England and India emerged victorious from the ICC Women’s World Cup semi-finals to set up the showpiece final the tournament deserves.
Sarah Taylor was Player of the Match for her sharp work behind and in front of the stumps, while Jenny Gunn’s run-a-ball 37 was key in seeing England home over South Africa with two balls to spare after a late wobble in Bristol.
Australia suffered a 36-run defeat to India at Derby thanks to arguably the greatest innings in women’s cricket history from Harmanpreet Kaur. The Indian No. 4 smashed 171* from 115 balls to drive her side to a match-winning 281/4 in 42 overs.
Australia battled hard, and it briefly appeared as if explosive contributions from Elyse Villani (4.5) and Alex Blackwell (8.5) would be enough to steal victory. But the latter, who scored 90 off 56 balls, was bowled by Deepti Sharma (6.0) off the first ball of the penultimate over, prompting wild celebrations.
Highest point-scorers: semi-finals
Harmanpreet Kaur (8.0) stole the show with her scintillating 171*. It was special stuff. Kaur arrived at the crease with India on 35/2. She played calmly while accumulating her fifty before hitting her remaining 121 runs from only 51 balls. Her 270 Classic Fantasy points is nothing short of outrageous. The second-highest point-scorer of the semi-finals, Villani (131), scored less than half the amount of Kaur’s tally! Blackwell (126), Taylor (7.5; 121) and Sharma (105) were the third, fourth and fifth highest-scorers of the semi-finals respectively.
Highest point-scorers: overall
Australia superstar Ellyse Perry (9.5) is Classic Fantasy’s highest point-scorer of the tournament so far, with 814. She heads a top four that only features all-rounders. England’s Heather Knight (8.0) has 735 points, one more than compatriot Natalie Sciver (7.0) – the creator of the ‘Natmeg’. India’s Sharma has been great value for fantasy gamers, while wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor completes the top five.
The top five highest point-scorers in Classic Fantasy were also the most popular picks in the semi-finals – in exactly the same order: Perry, Knight, Sciver, Sharma and Taylor. Expect in-form Kaur and India captain Mithali Raj (9.0) to be popular picks for the final.
Top five transfer tips for the final:
Heather Knight (7.5): England’s captain has scored more points than anyone else who will be competing in the ICC Women’s World Cup Final. Knight is the third-highest run-scorer in the competition with 363 at 51.85.
Katherine Brunt (8.5): You can bet she’ll be fired up for this one. The England quick has some decent lower-order hits and has picked up a few wickets, but she’s due a big match. A good option if you need to think slightly outside the box to edge closer to your rivals.
Sarah Taylor (7.5): The highest-scoring wicketkeeper in Classic Fantasy – and she’s been in the runs. Back to her scintillating best, Taylor scored 74* and 147 versus Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively.
Harmanpreet Kaur (8.0): Against Australia, Kaur played one of the greatest innings of all time to steer her side to the World Cup final. If she comes anywhere close to matching those heights again, you’ll be glad you picked her.
Mithali Raj (9.5): Having passed the milestone of 6,000 ODI runs, and with a batting line-up she can rely on to support her, the Indian skipper is playing with greater freedom and fluency. She’s as likely as anyone to get big runs, and if she does, on recent evidence, they’ll come quickly.
Top transfer tip:
You were spoilt with unlimited transfers leading up to the semi-finals but you’ve only got five transfers left. That means you have to use them wisely. There’s no need to go bargain hunting because it’s not about striking a balance between value and powerful performers anymore – it’s now all about the big guns. This is the world stage and the collision of two gun-heavy sides, so it’s not as straightforward as it may seem.
What are you waiting for? Make your Classic Fantasy transfers right now!