Smriti Mandhana’s knock of 87 runs guided India to 155/6 against Ireland in the do-or-die match in the Group B match of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 at St George’s Park on Monday.
Mandhana was at her best, creaming her drives and clearing the fence three times to up the ante through the middle overs.
India opted to bat first after winning the toss and got off to a good start with Smriti Mandhana playing some crisp strokes.
The openers put on a half-century stand before Shafali Verma fell for 24 with Amy Hunter taking a good, low catch in the deep on the delivery of Laura Delany in the 10th over of the game.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined hands with opener Mandhana, smashing Ireland bowlers around the ground.
Walking in at No.3, skipper Harmanpreet completed 3000 runs in T20Is, becoming the fourth women’s cricketer to achiever the landmark in this format. She forged a strong stand with Mandhana, who completed her half-century with a thumping six over mid-wicket.
Mandhana brought up her fifty in 40 balls with an excellent six of Cara Murray’s delivery. The duo of Harmanpreet and Mandhana took their team’s total beyond the 100-run mark in the 15th over of the innings.
Laura Delany then delivered a stunning spell to dismiss Harmanpreet Kaur for 13 and Richa Ghosh for a duck.
Mandhana held the fort for India but the batter fell to the stunning delivery of Orla Prendergast in the 19th over of the game. Mandhana went back to the pavilion after scoring 87 of 56 deliveries. India then lost the wicket of Deepti Sharma.
India eventually made 155/6 in the 20 overs, with Jemimah Rodrigues hitting two boundaries in the final over. In the penultimate over, Arlene Kelly bagged the wicket of Jemimah Rodrigues to restrict India to 155/6 in 20 overs.
India, who are ranked second in Group 2, will be assured a place in the semi-finals with a victory. They won two matches before losing to England in their most recent match.
Pakistan will be interested in an Ireland victory since they might advance to the knockout rounds if they defeat England on Tuesday.
Brief score: India 155/6 (Smriti Mandhana 87, Shafali Verma 24; Laura Delany 3-33) vs Ireland. (ANI)