Fluent Mandhana moves India closer to World T20 semi-finals

Smriti Mandhana | File Photo

Smriti Mandhana | File Photo
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Smriti Mandhana moved India a step closer to the semi-finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup with a career-best 87 in a total of 155 for six against Ireland at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Monday.

A win in their final group match will ensure that India join England in the last four.

A strong, swirling wind made conditions difficult and Ms. Mandhana was dropped four times in the outfield during a 56-ball innings which included nine fours and three sixes.

Shafali Verma made 24 and helped Ms. Mandhana put on 62 for the first wicket but both batters struggled initially to time the ball, although Ms. Mandhana hit with authority after reaching her half-century off 40 balls.

Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, playing in her 150th T20 international, became the fourth player to reach 3000 runs in the format but also lacked fluency before being dismissed for 13 off 20 balls.

While other bowlers suffered from dropped catches, Ireland captain Laura Delany benefitted from three good catches in the deep to take three for 33.

One of the catches was held by a diving Orla Prendergast, who also bowled impressively to take two for 22..

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