Virtually out of title race, India eyes third-place finish

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Disappointed India skipper Jhulan Goswami said her team will have to lift its spirit in the remaining matches to salvage some pride by finishing third.

Updated: March 17, 2009 10:46 IST
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With their chances of qualifying for the finals of the ICC Women's World Cup almost over after losing to New Zealand, disappointed India skipper Jhulan Goswami said her team will have to lift its spirit in the remaining matches to salvage some pride by finishing third.

"It is very difficult to lift your spirits after you know you have been knocked out of the title match. But yes, we have to motivate ourselves and try to win matches against the West Indies and Australia so that we could finish, at least, third in the tournament," Julan said at the post match press conference.

Indian eves' hopes of making it to the finals of the mega event were dealt with a severe blow on Tuesday after Kiwis beat them by five-wickets in a Super Six match here.

Jhulan was emotional and almost in tears after the loss as it virtually shattered their chances of making it to the last four.

"It is a very disappointing day. We worked extremely hard for the World Cup but all has gone down the drain because of one bad performance. It is a devastating blow to all of us as the next World Cup will be after four years and who know who will be there by then," she said.

Today's loss leaves India, who beat defending champions Australia in their opening Super Six match, with two points from as many matches.

Although India are ahead of New Zealand on net run-rate, their chance of progressing to the summit clash is very slim. The Indians can reach the final only if they beat West Indies in their final Super Six match and hope that New Zealand lose to Pakistan and Australia lose to England.

Meanwhile, lauding her teammates for their impressive performance in the last two matches of tournament, a jubilant Kiwi skipper Haidee Tiffen said today's victory has enabled her side to settle scores against the Indians against whom they lost in the last edition of the event.

"I am really pleased with the way the girls lifted themselves after the defeat against England. I saw India's last game against Australia and had a fair idea how to take them on.

"I suppose we took the match as a semi-final and came hard at India. I am happy to know that we achieved something which no other team has achieved in the tournament to date (successfully chase a target of 200 or more).

"I am also happy that we were able to avenge for previous World Cup's defeat (when India beat New Zealand by 40 runs in the semi-final)," she said.

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