India went through to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup after rain paused Ireland’s recovery in Gqeberha in the Group 2 clash.
India became the third team to book a place in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 semi-finals after they edged Ireland by DLS method at St George’s Park on Monday.
Smriti Mandhana’s 87 formed the backbone of India’s total of 155/6 in 20 overs and the finalists from 2020 asserted their supremacy by sending back two key Ireland batters in the first over.
A mix-up off the very first ball saw Hunter run at the wicketkeeper’s end and Renuka Singh followed up her terrific new ball spell against England by cleaning up Prendergast to put India right on top early on in the second innings.
Gaby Lewis and Laura Delany joined hands, and the pair did remarkably well to not let the required run rate climb too high, taking the team to 44/2 in the Powerplay.
However, rain came down in Gqeberha, putting a halt on Ireland’s recovery and worryingly for them, they were still behind the DLS par score by five runs.
Mandhana was at her best in Gqeberha, creaming her drives early on, before clearing the fence three times to up the ante through the middle overs.
Ireland could only send her back in the 19th over and soon followed it up with the wicket of Deepti Sharma next ball to peg India back pretty late.
They eventually made 155/6 in the 20 overs, with Jemimah Rodrigues hitting two boundaries in the final over.
Earlier, India opted to bat first after winning the toss and got off to a good start with Mandhana playing some crisp strokes.
The openers put on a half-century stand before Shafali Verma fell for 24 with Amy Hunter taking a good, low catch in the deep.
Walking in at No.3, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur completed 3 000 runs in T20Is, becoming the fourth women’s cricketer to the landmark in this format.
She forged a strong stand with Mandhana, who completed her half-century with a thumping six over mid-wicket.
Harmanpreet fell in the 16th over, with Orla Prendergast taking a stunner running in from the deep. Laura Delany added another wicket in the same over, sending back Richa Ghosh for a duck to complete a three-wicket haul. — icc-cricket.com