India, on Thursday, thrashed Ireland by 52 runs to advance to the semifinal of the ICC Women’s World T20 for the third time.
India were outright favourites to win the game against Ireland due to current form of both the sides. And Ireland did little to prove the predictions wrong. India had entered the game after two impressive wins over New Zealand and Pakistan.
The Women in Blue beat New Zealand by 34 runs in their tournament opener before extending their dominance over arch-rivals Pakistan with a 7-wicket win. Ireland, on the other hand, lost both their opening two matches. In the first match, they went down to Australia by nine wickets followed by a 38-run defeat against Pakistan in the second.
And both the teams performed just according to their current form. While India were decent with the bat and clinical with the ball ball, Ireland looked clueless. Asked to bat first, India posted 145 for 6 before restricting the opposition to 93 for 8.
Ireland never looked in contention to even get close to the total let along chasing it down. Only two of their players – Clare Shillington and Isobel Joyce- managed to cross the double-digit mark.
For India, Radha Yadav was the most successful bowler with three wickets while Deepti Sharma accounted for two.
Veteran batter Mithali Raj struck her second consecutive fifty to guide India to a good total. She and Smriti Mandhana gave India a good start by adding 67 runs in the first 10 overs. The duo kept rotating the strike well in the initial overs and hit the occasional boundaries.
Kim Grath gave Ireland the much-needed first breakthrough by castling Mandhana for 33.
India promoted in-form Jemimah Rodrigues but it did not yield the desires result. On the other hand, Mithali was also struggling to bat in a good rhythm. Rodrigues was out after scoring 11 off 18 balls. Harmanpreet Kaur hit a six but was soon dismissed. As wickets fell at one end, Mithali couldn’t shift gears at the other and was finally removed in the 19th over by Garth. But in the end, India managed to put up a total which was more than enough in the end.
The result also means end of the end of the road for Pakistan and New Zealand who are on two and zero points respectively. India next take on Australia to determine who takes the top spot in Group B of the tournament.
India 145/6 (Mithali Raj 51, Smriti Mandhana 33) beat Ireland 93/8 (Isobel Joyce 33; Radha Yadav 3-25) by 52 runs.