Women in blue remain undefeated as they beat former World Champion Australia (2010, 2012 & 2014) by massive 48 runs. Both India and Australia were in semifinals even before playing this match. This match was purely between two of the toughest competitors in Group B and India came out as leader, undefeated champions.
Electing to bat, India posted 167-8 in 20 overs. As Mithali Raj was rested, Taniya Bhatia alongside Smriti opened the innings today. Although, Bhatia (2) couldn’t capitulate on the opportunity today but Mandhana left no stone unturned as she bashed all the bowlers to hit a half century in just 31 balls, fastest by an Indian woman in World T20. Her form was questioned since the first match of the tournament and this is how she bounced back, that too against the strongest team. She was the star of the match, 83 runs in just 55 balls with nine boundaries and three sixes.
Rodriguez (6) couldn’t bring her A game to the table but the Indian captain couldn’t restrict herself from attacking Australian bowlers as she scored a quick 43 runs in 27 balls with three boundaries and three sixes. Mandhana and Kaur put forward 68 runs partnership for 4th wicket. However, except for these two none other batsmen could even score 10 runs.
Ellyse Perry who was playing her 100th T20 match today struck well with ball. She kept India on toes as she took 3 wickets in her spell of 3 overs by giving 16 runs.
Absence of Healy, the top order in-form batsman was a major blow for Australian side but Beth Mooney and Villani stepped up to the situation. Both the openers were sent back to pavilion by Deepti Sharma in two successive deliveries in 5th over. Beth (19r 17b 3x4s) looked good with the bat but just after Villani’s wicket went on to hit a sweep and completely missed the ball. Lanning (10) again couldn’t contribute much from her bat. Gardner (20r 19b 2x4s 1×6) was expected to stay on the field for a longer duration but couldn’t hold on to her wicket against spinner Poonam Yadav. It was Ellyse Perry who stayed on to the crease and gave a hard time to Indian bowlers. She scored 39 runs in 28 balls with three boundaries and one six. She could’ve really taken the game away from India if she’d got a support from the other end but the tailenders kept on losing their wicket one after another. And in the process of chasing this total Australia lost all their wickets except for Perry who was the highest scorer amongst them.
Anuja Patil dismantled the bottom batting line-up of Australia as she took 3 wickets in her spell of 3.4 overs by giving 15 runs. Except for her, Deepti, Radha and Poonam took 2 wickets each. Hence putting forward a clinical bowling performance to restrict Australia at 119.
Kaur, Indian captain : Both again (asked to choose between the victory against New Zealand and Australia) they are good teams and you have to perform well. Credit to the girls for the way we played today. We worked really hard, today the fielding coach must be happy with the way we fielded, proud of the girls. We always enjoy when batting together. She (Mandhana) played really well and that is what we are expecting from her.
Lanning, Australian captain : She’s (Healy) okay. we will look after her and hopefully, she should be alright for the semis. We sort of felt that pace of the ball was effective on this wicket and that was our plan (on not utilising the fast bowlers). Kaur and Mandhana batted extremely well. We have a lot to work on from here.
Mandhana, Player of the match : Quite relieved as I was getting starts but not converting them. Wanted to go out there and score big runs. Glad that I could do it today. Whenever the ball hits my pads, I always think it’s out, don’t know why (laughs) but she (Veda) told me to take the review. Thanks to her, we got 20 30 runs extra. The way we bowled and fielded today was probably the best we did all tournament. In that aspect, this win was special.
India won by 48 runs
India 167-8 in 20 overs (Smriti 83, Harmanpreet Kaur 43 runs, Deepti Sharma 8; Ellyse Perry 3/16)
Australia 119-10 in 19.4 overs (E Perry 39, Gardner 20, Beth Mooney 19; Anuja Patil 3/15)