T20 Women’s WC: Rain fails to dampen India’s march

India edged out Ireland through the D/L method after a rain intervention

| Updated: 20 February, 2023 11:22 pm IST
Smriti Mandhana starred with the bat for India (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ICC)

Smriti Mandhana once again showed why she is so highly regarded as India overcame rain intervention to beat Ireland by five runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in their ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in Gqeberha on Monday, February 20.

The win also helped India seal the semi-final berth for the third successive edition. In the semis, India will be up against the mighty Australians – unless England conjure up something to lose against Pakistan in their final group match.

After suffering their first loss in the tournament against group topper England, it was a must-win game for the Indians. The luck seems to have favoured them as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bat under the overcast conditions.

Shafali Verma and Mandhana gave India a solid start with a 62-run stand for the opening stand of 9.3 overs.

Skipper Laura Delany, Ireland’s most successful bowler with three key wickets, gave her team a much-needed break with the wicket of Verma.

The wicket affected India’s scoring as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur dropped anchor with winds blowing. However, while her skipper chose a cautious approach, Mandhana, who had scored a half ton against England in a losing cause two days earlier, ensured the runs kept coming from the other hand as she went on to score her second half century in the tournament.

In fact, Mandhana, who missed the opening game with an injury, surpassed her previous best score in the format with a 56-ball 87, which also included 9 fours and 3 sixes.

While Kaur became Delany’s second victim after making a 20-ball 13, she did enough to become the first Indian, and fourth overall after Suzie Bates, Meg Lanning and Stefanie Taylor, to score 3000 runs in women’s T20Is.

Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur reached personal milestone (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ICC)

 

Both Mandhana and Kaur added 52 runs for the second wicket. However, the fall of Kaur put a brake on India’s scoring rate, with wicket-keeper batter Richa Ghosh falling for a golden duck to Delany.

Twenty-eight runs later, India again suffered a double jolt with Mandhana, who by then had reached her best score in the format, and all-rounder Deepti Sharma falling in quick succession.

Jemimah Rodrigues (19, 12b, 3×4) and Pooja Vastrakar then added 12 runs in seven balls as India reached 155 for six from 20 overs.

Ireland’s chase looked doomed as they lost two wickets and were reduced to 2/1 in five balls. However, opener Gaby Lewis (32*, 25b, 5×4) and skipper Delany (17*, 20b, 3×4) helped the team reach 54/2 in 8.2 overs.

But their chance of upsetting India suffered a big jolt as heaven opened its door – and the fighting Ireland perished in the rain as they fell short by five runs.

BRIEF SCORE: India 155/6 (Smriti Mandhana 87, Shafali Verma 24; Laura Delany 3/33) beat Ireland 54/2 in 8.2 overs (Gaby Lewis 32*; Renuka Singh 1/10) by five runs via D/L Method

Also Read Story

Assam CM accuses Rahul Gandhi of tourist visa status

NIA conducts raids against terror outfits in Kashmir

Defence Minister visits world’s highest battlefield

Supreme Court demands Baba Ramdev’s apology size equivalent to ads