WWT20: India secure semi-final berth with win over Ireland
India secured their place in the Women’s World T20 semi-finals with a 52-run win over Ireland in Guyana.
Mithali Raj, dropped on three and 39, hit four fours and a six in a stylish 51 but Ireland’s bowlers stuck to their task well to restrict India to 145-6.
But only two players reached double figures as Ireland closed on 93-8 as they remained winless from three games. India face the other unbeaten side in Group B, Australia, on Saturday to determine who will finish top.
Prior to this match the concern over the weather had focused on St. Lucia, where the Group A matches are taking place, but some torrential morning rain left the groundstaff with much to do and it was to their credit that there was only a minimal delay to the start and no overs were lost.
Raj, reprieved by a routine drop by Lara Maritz at square-leg in the third over, carved consecutive boundaries as 15 came from Maritz’s first over to help them to 42-0 after the powerplay.
Talented 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues struck boundaries in three successive overs before she was stumped off a wide in the 15th over.
That brought in India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who launched eight sixes in her 103 against New Zealand in the opening match, and although she hit her second ball for six, her third was superbly caught on the cover boundary by Shauna Kavanagh.
Ireland had not scored more than 101 before in the tournament and although the consistent Clare Shillington gave them a solid start and passed 1,000 T20 runs with a second successive score in the 20s, she was deceived in the flight by a sharply spinning leg break from Poonam Yadav and comfortably stumped in the ninth over.
Isobel Joyce hit four of the eight boundaries in the innings in her 33 but the required rate gradually began to increase against a spin-dominant attack.
Three wickets fell in as many deliveries in the penultimate over as India recorded their seventh successive win in completed matches since their surprise Asia Cup final defeat against Bangladesh in June. (BBC Sport)