Published on: Feb 22, 2023
India Women confirmed their berth in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 with a five-run (DLS Method) win over Ireland Women in a Group B match at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Monday, February 20. India will in all probability face Group A table-toppers Australia in the first semi-final on Thursday, February 23.
The Women in Blue won the toss and batted first in the game. They posted 155 for 6 as vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, who was dropped four times, scored a career-best 87 off 56 balls. The southpaw’s innings featured nine fours and three sixes. Shafali Verma’s 23 was the next best score. Jemimah Rodrigues chipped in with a handy 19 off 12 at the death.
For Ireland, skipper Laura Delany picked up 3 for 33 and Orla Prendergast 2 for 22. Chasing 156, Ireland lost Amy Hunter for one off the first ball, while Prendergast was cleaned up by Renuka Thakur Singh for a duck. Gaby Lewis was not out on 32 off 25 and Delany on 17 when rain stopped play. The chasing side were 54/2, five runs short of the DLS par score
Speaking after India Women’s win, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said, “It was a good game for us. Smriti got runs, which was very important. Whenever she’s giving us that start, we are always get good totals. I just wanted to go there and spend some time in the middle.”
On reaching the semis, Kaur added, “It means a lot, we are working so hard for so many years and we always want to do well. Hope we’ll give our 100%. We always enjoy our match against them (Australia). It will be a do or die for both the teams. We just want to go and play free cricket.”
Player of the Match Mandhana described the innings as one of the toughest she has played. She explained, “One of toughest innings I’d have played in terms of the pace at what they were bowling. We had discussed that we weren’t going to get as much pace. With the wind, it got worse than we thought. Real hard work for the first 30 balls, I thought I had forgotten how to bat. Later on, I told myself to get into better positions to hit.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent