New Zealand win toss, elect to field against India

Arjuna Ranatunga file

Arjuna Ranatunga file

England, Australia and South Africa have all booked a place in the last-four with victories on Wednesday, leaving a straight shootout between India and New Zealand for the fourth and final qualification spot.

It was only earlier this week that Mithali Raj had surpassed England skipper Charlotte Edwards to become the highest run-getter in One-Day Internationals (ODI) during their World Cup game against Australia at the Bristol County Ground.

"You can't just give up because you lose one game", said Raj. Then the wheels began wobbling as they went down to South Africa and Australia, and now face a powerful New Zealand unit at Derby on Saturday in a must-win match if they want to keep their campaign alive.

Two days before the tournament started Mithali Raj said, "India have usually done well in build up, but not turned the table on the big stage".

She said that the team's game has been good in the tournament and they have lost only against England and Australia and that they have to play well as it is a do-or-die game and one of them has to go home.

New Zealand, on the other hand, made two changes - Hannah Rowe and Maddy Green come in for Holly Huddleston and Erin Bermingham.

India Women: Mithali Raj (C), Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Sushma Verma, Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav.

Fielding, which has proved to be a major problem area for India throughout the tournament, will also have to improve a lot. Do or die. Kiwis won the toss and invited India to bat first in the virtual knock-out. In the first three games alone, the Indian eves dropped eight catches. The last match centurion Punam Raut departs.

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