India secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup after defeating Ireland by five runs using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method at Gqeberha. with the help of a stellar performance from Vice Captain Smriti Mandhana, who scored an impressive career-high of 87 and played a crucial role in their rain-interrupted match victory over Ireland.
Ireland, who had no chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, were chasing a competitive total of 157 runs. However, rain halted play when they were 54 for 2 in 8.2 overs. After waiting for an hour, the match was eventually called off, allowing India to advance to the next stage of the tournament.
Ireland fell just short of victory, requiring only five more runs before the rain intervened.
India accumulated six points from four games in the group stage and secured a win, placing them second in Group B. England is currently leading the group with six points from three games and a higher net run rate. The outcome of England’s final group game against Pakistan on Tuesday will determine the final ranking of the group. If India maintains their second position, they will face Australia in the semi-finals.
India’s Mandhana (87 off 56 balls) and Shafali Verma (24 off 29) contributed to India’s score of 155 for 6 in their 20 overs.
The start of Ireland’s chase was plagued by misfortune as they lost two crucial wickets in the first over itself, which was bowled by the formidable pacer Renuka Thakur Singh. The opening batter, Amy Hunter, was run out on the very first ball while attempting a risky second run. To compound matters, Orla Prendergast was dismissed just four deliveries later as Renuka knocked over her stumps, leaving Ireland reeling at a score of 1 for 2 in just half an over. This early setback put the Irish team on the back foot and made their pursuit of the target even more challenging.
During the Ireland run chase, Gaby Lewis played an impressive knock of 32 runs off just 25 balls, showcasing her excellent batting skills. However, after losing a few wickets early on, the team found themselves in a bit of a tough spot.
Enter skipper Laura Delany, who proved to be an invaluable partner for Lewis. Delany played a steady innings, scoring 17 runs off 20 balls, while providing crucial support to Lewis at the other end. Together, they formed a fifty-run partnership that breathed new life into the Ireland run chase.
Unfortunately, their partnership was cut short by the arrival of rain, which led to a halt in play. Despite the best efforts of the ground staff, the rain continued to pour down, preventing any further play. As a result, the match ended in a draw, leaving Ireland and Zimbabwe both without a win in the series.
With 70 balls remaining, Ireland required 102 runs and were trailing the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score of 59 by five runs.
India’s impressive performance in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup has resulted in their third successive appearance in the semi-finals of the tournament. This marks a significant achievement for the Indian team, who had previously made it to the semi-finals in the 2018 edition of the tournament and were runners-up in the 2020 edition. The Indian team’s consistency and ability to perform well under pressure have been the key factors behind their impressive track record in recent years. With their spot in the semi-finals secured, the Indian team will look to continue their winning momentum and advance to the finals of the tournament.
India, who finished as runners-up in the 2020 edition, have bounced back from their previous 11-run defeat to England with a win in the 2018 tournament.
India chose to bat first and their opening pair of Mandhana and Shafali got off to a great start, adding 62 runs in less than 10 overs.
Shafali, who had previously been dismissed early in the tournament, managed to make a promising start in the current match. However, her hopes of a big score were dashed when she was caught by Amy Hunter off the bowling of the captain, Delany. Delany, who had initially relied on the frontline bowlers to take wickets, had to step up and introduce herself into the attack when they failed to get the team the breakthrough they needed. This decision proved to be a smart one as Delany was able to dismiss the dangerous Shafali and give her team the momentum they needed.
Mandhana was joined by Harmanpreet, and together they aimed to strengthen their partnership. However, the surface seemed slower, making it challenging for them to execute their strokes.
Despite the challenging conditions of the slow wicket, Mandhana displayed her exceptional skills and maintained a remarkable strike rate. In an impressive show of her capabilities, she reached her half-century in style, smashing a six over deep mid-wicket off the bowling of leg-spinner Cara Murray. However, Mandhana had a moment of luck just before achieving this milestone, as Arlene Kelly dropped a catch after the batter top-edged a tossed-up delivery from Murray towards mid-wicket. Despite this scare, Mandhana persevered and continued to demonstrate her mastery of the game.
Mandhana hit two consecutive fours off Georgina Dempsey and followed it up by hitting a maximum over cow corner off Delany’s bowling.
Mandhana was on track to reach a century, but her impressive performance was cut short when she attempted to hit the ball into the air.
Jemimah Rodrigues hit a couple of fours in the concluding over, concluding her innings for a 12-ball 19 with the final delivery of the Indian innings.