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"We'll have to face the music": Australia crashes out of World Cup

Cricket

Australian coach Matthew Mott admits he and his side will face some tough questions after crashing out of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

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The defending champions lost by 36 runs to India at Derby in the semi-final overnight, Australian time, following a batting onslaught from Sydney Thunder WBBL star Harmanpreet Kaur.

Kaur smashed 20 fours and seven sixes in her unbeaten 171 from just 115 deliveries as India chalked up an imposing 4-281 in 42 overs after the match was shortened due to a three-hour rain delay.

In response, Meg Lanning’s side slumped to 245 all out after Alex Blackwell hit 90 from 56 balls in a last-wicket stand of 76 with Kristen Beams to give the margin of defeat some respectability.

Aside from Blackwell, Elyse Villani (75) and Ellyse Perry (38), no other player scored more than 14, with Lanning falling for an eight-ball duck in a rare failure with the bat.

“Pat Howard the boss will certainly ask some questions so when we get home we’ll have to face the music I guess,” said Mott.

“We’ll go through what went right, what went wrong and there’ll be a lot of questions asked.

“We came here with the expectation to win. We had a team that could have won the competition and we didn’t.

“Now’s not the time. We’ll let it digest. We’re hurting a fair bit at the moment but there’s certainly a lot of areas we can work on.”

Kaur’s innings mirrored that of Sri Lanka’s Chamari Atapattu, who scored 178 earlier in the tournament, with the Australian bowlers again having no answer to a player in imperious touch with the bat.

Lanning conceded she was at a loss as to how to stop Kaur and that the addition of an extra seamer instead of playing three spinners may have been a wise move.

“We just sort of gave her a little bit too much to work with and it was pretty hard ground to defend once she got going,” Lanning said.

“That’s the second time it’s happened in this tournament.

“In hindsight maybe if you had someone different but our spinners have done a great job for us… and it just didn’t really happen today.

“I had to turn to Elyse Villani there for an over just to try something different and hope that it worked but it didn’t.”

Kaur credited the experience of playing for Sydney Thunder for her match-winning innings against Australia.

“I always love to play against Australia because they are a very good side and when you score against a good side it’ll always give you confidence,” the 28-year-old said.

“In the WBBL I enjoyed because I had a really good team.

“They always gave me good confidence and my captain (Alex) Blackwell, she’s a very motivated girl and she always appreciated my innings.

“It was great for for me to play for the Thunders.”

Kaur is yet to re-sign with the Thunder for the coming season but Blackwell is hopeful she will re-commit after ending the veteran Australian’s hopes of a third World Cup win.

“I’ve seen her bat like that before but not for that long and she hit the ball incredibly well today,” Blackwell said.

“We’ve seen a couple of big innings this World Cup but that’s probably the best one yet given the what was on the line; a place in the final.

“She can be very proud to get her team in to that match against England.

“Once I land back in Sydney I’m sure we’ll have to start talking about contracts and that sort of thing.

“She was a pleasure to have in the Sydney Thunder in WBBL02 and I just hope to see her in the WBBL full stop.

“In the Sydney Thunder would be great.”

Lanning and her players will return to an uncertain future with the squad officially unemployed and the MoU dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association no closer to a resolution.

Several of the squad will remain in England to play in the domestic T20 competition but Lanning will return home for treatment on her damaged shoulder with the 25-year-old unsure how serious the problem is.

“I’ll work that out with the medical team over the next couple of days and few weeks and we’ll decide what the best course of action is for that,” she said.

“We haven’t even thought about that (MoU) to be honest, we’ve been worrying about the game today.

“We know CA and the ACA have been working in the background there.

“That’ll all play out over the next couple of weeks.”

-AAP

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