Smriti Mandhana’s 87 confirms India a Semi-Final Spot in a Rain-affected Encounter

India’s final group stage match ended with rain playing spoilsport, yet the Women in Blue pulled off a narrow five-run win via the DLS method versus the hapless Ireland in Match 18 of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023. With this win, India advanced to the semi-finals and are likely to square off against the mighty Australians, and this depends on England versus Pakistan match outcome.

Smriti Mandhana in action against Ireland in a must win encounter. PC: Getty Images
Smriti Mandhana in action against Ireland in a must win encounter. PC: Getty Images

In this exciting encounter, India won the toss and decided to bat first. India had one of the finest starts as the dynamic opening duo of Team India, Shafali Verma, and Smriti Mandhana, not just attacked from the initial overs but were in total control of the situation challenging the Irish bowlers at every stage. After a dominant powerplay, the Irish bowlers heaved a sigh of relief as Laura Delany dismissed Shafali for 24 off 29. The skipper Harmanpreeet Kaur who elevated herself up the batting played second fiddle to Smriti Mandhana, who seemed to be batting on a whole different plane. But the 15th over of Laura Delany saw a double strike as she got rid of Kaur for 13 and the dangerous Richa Ghosh for a golden duck. However, Jemimah Rodrigues sprung to action and scored a quick-fire cameo of 19 in what was a much-needed knock for India. As the classy Mandhana was dismissed for 87, India still had something to defend in what was a very good score of 155/6. For Ireland, Laura Delany stood out with her three wickets. She was ably supported by Orla Prendergast, who pocketed two wickets, and Arlene Kelly, who took 1 wicket, were delightful with the ball.

It was always going to be a tricky run chase for Ireland, but losing the prodigious Amy Hunter for 1 courtesy a run out affected by Jemimah Rodrigues was an ominous start. The same over saw Renuka Singh, India’s new ball specialist, get rid of Orla Prendergast for a four ball duck, and India seemed to have the match in control. However, with Gaby Lewis and skipper Laura Delany at the crease, things seemed to get interesting until the skies opened up, and the rain gods played spoilsport to what could have been a belter of a game. India eked out a five run victory through the DLS method and qualified for the semi finals.

Brief Scores: India 155/6 in 20 overs (Mandhana 87, Delany 3/33, Prendergast 2/22) beat Ireland 54/2 in 8.2 overs (Lewis 32*, Renuka 1-10) by five runs via DLS method

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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