Indian women’s cricket team climbs two spots

Dubai, March 3 (IANS) The Indian women’s cricket team has jumped from seventh to fifth spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Championship standings which was released on Thursday. They are still not assured of a World Cup 2017 qualification spot.

The significance of the ICC Women’s Championship lies in the fact that it is a qualifying tournament for the 2017 Women’s World Cup.

The top four sides from the championship will obtain automatic qualification for the event proper to be staged in England while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the qualifier earlier in 2017.

In the last few weeks, India pulled one game back against Australia in an away series following which there was a 3-nil series win against Sri Lanka at home. But still they will need to win both their final two rounds of the championship against the West Indies and Pakistan to put pressure on the other leading contenders.

The championship has now a clear leader in World Champion Australia after an exciting month of one-day cricket, which featured seven of the eight sides in the competition.

Australia, who will be aiming for their fourth straight Women’s World Twenty20 title in India later this month, entered the latest round of matches as championship co-leaders with the West Indies. But two series wins against India and New Zealand has helped them to break-away from the Caribbean side, who are now trailing by four points.

Australia beat India and New Zealand by an identical 2-1 margin to earn eight out of a possible 12 points on offer. Meg Lannings’s side came from a match down to beat New Zealand and retain the Rose Bowl title for the 14th time. Australia now have two rounds of matches remaining which will be again South Africa and Sri Lanka.

West Indies, meanwhile, have secured second position with a 2-1 win over South Africa. The Caribbean side’s remaining two series’ are against fifth-placed India and sixth-placed England.

The Proteas have held on to fourth spot in the championship table despite losing both outings against England and the West Indies.

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