Women's World T20 2018: Mandhana Helps India Stun Australia

Women's World T20 2018: Mandhana Helps India Stun Australia
Smriti Mandhana Helped India beat Australia

With India and Australia already qualified for the Women’s World T20 semi-finals, their match sorted out which team would finish top of their group, and it was India who came out on top with a 48 run victory in Guyana.

Winning the toss first and deciding to bat first, India survived the early loss of Taniya Bhatia thanks to Smriti Mandhana who smashed 83 off just 55 balls hitting three sixes and 9 fours in her innings. She was supported by her captain Harmanpreet Kaur who scored 43 off 27 balls, including 3 sixes and 3 fours. None of the other batsmen made much of a contribution – extras was the third highest scorer with 14.

However, the final Indian total of 167 – 8 was a tough one for Australia to chase, especially after they lost Alyssa Healy to concussion, after a collision in the field with one of her own players.

With Elyse Villani promoted to open with Beth Mooney, Australia were struggling from the time they lost the pair in successive balls at the start of the fifth over to Deeti Sharma. Elysee Parry hit an unbeaten 39, but Australia were never in touch with the run rate, and, with one batsmen short due to Healy’s injury, were bowled out in the last over for 119, Anuja Patil taking 3 for 15 for India.

The second match featured a dead rubber as neither New Zealand nor Ireland could make it to the knock-out stages of the tournament. It was won convincingly by the Kiwis who reached their target of 80 with more than 12 overs to spare as, yet again, the Irish were let down by their batting.

Batting first, it was a familiar story for the Irish as they struggled to put runs on the board, and only Gaby Lewis, who scored almost half her side’s runs with 39, including 5 fours, can feel proud of her performance. Their final total of 79 for 9 was well short of what was needed, as, yet again, they showed the lack of experience needed at this level of the game. Leigh Kasperek with 3 for 19 was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers.

The result was never in doubt with Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates sharing an opening stand of 69 for the first wicket in a little over 5 overs. Both fell before the end, Devine for a 51 that included 3 sixes and 7 fours, and Bates for 11, but the rest was a formality as their side breezed home.

As a footnote, no fewer than 4 Irish players announced their retirement after the match – the twins Isobel and Cecelia Joyce, along with Chare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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