Tuesday, February 21, 2023

India vs. Ireland in the Women's T20 World Cup Highlights: Smriti Mandhana shines as India defeats Ireland by 5 runs (DLS) to advance to the semi-finals

Women's T20 World Cup, India vs Ireland Highlights: Smriti Mandhana shines as India beat Ireland by 5 runs (DLS) to qualify for semis


Delhi, India: In a rain-affected match at St. George's Park in Gqeberha, vice captain Smriti Mandhana scored a career-high 87 as India defeated Ireland by five runs using the DLS method to advance to the semi-finals of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup on Monday.

Ireland, already out of the running for the semi-final, were 54 for 2 in 8.2 overs chasing a competitive 157-run target when rain stopped play. After about an hour, the match was called off, allowing India to advance further in the tournament.

As it transpired: India's victory over Ireland gave India six points from four games in the group stage. They are currently in second place in Group B, behind England (with six points from three games), who currently have a higher net run rate. Tuesday's final group match between England and Pakistan will determine their final group position. If India finishes second in the group standings, they will play Australia in the semis.

Earlier, India posted 155 for 6 in their 20 overs thanks to Mandhana (87 off 56 balls) and Shafali Verma (24 off 29).

After that, Ireland's run chase got off to a disastrous start when Renuka Thakur Singh, a seasoned pacer, lost two wickets in the very first over. While trying to score a second run, opener Amy Hunter was run out by the first pitch. Ireland fell to 1 for 2 in 0.5 overs when Renuka clean bowled Orla Prendergast four balls later.

Before the rain came, Gaby Lewis (32 not out off 25) and captain Laura Delany (17* off 20) added a valuable fifty-run stand to revive the Ireland run chase. After that, play did not resume.

Ireland were five runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score of 59 at that point, requiring 102 runs in 70 balls.

After making it to the semifinals in 2018 and finishing as runners-up in 2020, this marks India's third semifinal appearance in a row. India, last year's runners-up, overcame their 11-run loss to England in their previous match with the victory.

India got off to a good start by choosing to bat first, and the opening duo of Mandhana and Shafali scored 62 runs in just under 10 overs.

After starting, Shafali was caught by Amy Hunter off captain Delany's bowling. Amy Hunter joined the attack after the frontline bowlers failed to achieve a breakthrough for the team.

Mandhana was joined in the middle by Harmanpreet, and the two of them tried to form a partnership. On a surface that appeared to be a little bit slower, playing strokes proved to be challenging.

Despite the wicket's slow pace, Mandhana maintained a high strike rate and celebrated her half-century by hitting Cara Murray, a leg spinner, for a six over deep midwicket.

Mandhana was fortunate to have endure a panic not long prior to getting to her fifty, however Arlene Kelly couldn't finish the catch after the hitter top-edged a threw up conveyance from Murray towards mid-wicket.

After that, Mandhana hit Georgina Dempsey with two consecutive fours before hitting Delany over the cow corner for a second score.

Mandhana continued to attack the bowlers and hit two more boundaries off Kelly before giving the same treatment to Delany, striking her for a four and a six to help India inch closer to 150. Ireland responded by taking Harmanpreet and Richa Ghosh in consecutive balls.

Mandhana was on track to score a century, but when she tried to fly, her brilliant innings ended.

Jemimah Rodrigues scored two fours in the final over before being removed from the India innings with the final ball for a 12-ball 19.

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