India recently defeated Ireland in their final group game on Monday, which was cut short by rain, to advance to the semifinals of the Women’s T20 World Cup.
India beat their goal of 155-6 by five runs using the Duckworth-Lewis method, helped by another half-century from star opener Smriti Mandhana, who overcame numerous obstacles to score a career-high 87 off 56 balls.
Rain began to fall at St. George’s Park in Gqeberha, the city on the south coast that was originally known as Port Elizabeth, with Ireland at 54-2 in 8.2 overs and just behind the required rate.
It was intended that India would surpass England to move into second place in Group 2 and is now likely to face top-ranked and reigning champion Australia in the semifinals on Thursday at Newlands in Cape Town, barring a loss by England to Pakistan on Tuesday that causes its net run rate to fall below India’s. As the group’s top team, India will thereafter advance.
Those that advance after Australia in Group 1 will face the winner of Group 2. Although South Africa, the other semifinalist, might replace New Zealand if it defeats Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Ms. Mandhana scored 87 after scoring 52 on Saturday in a losing cause against England for India.
She struck nine fours and three sixes against Ireland to emphasise she is back to her best after losing India’s opener match of the tournament with a hand injury. When Gaby Lewis grabbed a catch at long-off, Ireland, which had dropped Ms. Mandhana four times, including twice in the span of two overs, finally managed to maintain a chance.
Amy Hunter was run out while attempting to score a second run off the opening ball of the inning, giving Ireland a dismal start to their chase. Ireland was in trouble at 1-2 when Orla Prendergast was bowled by Renuka Singh off the sixth ball of the first over.
Lewis and leader Laura Delany helped Ireland come back, and they could have been able to win if they hadn’t only managed singles in the final 2.2 overs before it started to rain.