Indian Women Cricket Team is yet to win their maiden T20 world cup, moved one step closer to end their title drought when they beat Ireland by 52 runs in match 13 of ICC World Cup 2018 on Thursday. The win also ensured them a semi-final berth in the sixth edition of the World T20 World Cup, which is being played in West Indies.
This was India’s third consecutive victory on the trot in this World Cup and they are at second spot in the points table now, sitting only behind to Former World Champion Australia in the Group B. India and Australia has qualified from the Group B to the Semi-finals, while defending Champion West Indies and England are the other two Semi-finalists from Group A.
The Final Match of Group B will be played between Australia and India, which is a mere formality to decide the Group Toppers. Top ten teams of the women’s world cricket are participating in this edition of the World T 20 World Cup, which is divided into two groups. Group A consists of the host West Indies, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Bangladesh while Group B has Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Ireland.
India, on brink of their successful ODI World Cup Campaign last year, where they finished off as runner-ups, started off very convincingly in this tournament. They beat New Zealand in the tournament’s opener by 34 runs on Nov 9 and have continued their momentum till now, beating Pakistan and Ireland in the next two matches.
The Road to the Semi-finals
The star of the first match was Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who played a blistering knock of 103 runs off 51 balls to help India get 194, which is also their highest T20 score. This knock showed glimpses of Harmanpreet’s unbeaten knock of 171 in ICC women World Cup against Australia, last year. New Zealand tried their best to reach near to this total with some fighting knocks from Suzie Bates and Katey Martin, but at the end 194 resulted in a big total to chase for the kiwis. India won that match easily by 34 runs.
India played their second match against Pakistan on Nov 11, where they continued their dominance over their arch-rivals and won comfortably. Batting first, Pakistan scored 133 runs of their quota of 20 overs, which was easily chased by the Indian side, with some good contributions from veteran Mithali Raj (56 runs) and Smriti Mandana (26 runs).
In the third match against Ireland played at Providence Stadium, Guyana, Indian batswomen made a respectable total of 145-6. Mithali Raj again scored an important fifty (51 runs) and in due course, also surpassed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to become the highest T20 run scorer from India in this format of Cricket. In response to that, Ireland women could only manage 93 runs against top Indian bowling side, and lost by 52 runs. This victory ensured India’s place in the semi-final of the tournament.
With only four more matches to be played in group stages, the semi-finalists are also already decided. However, which team will face which opponent will only be decided, after India’s match against Australia today, and from West Indies versus England tomorrow. India is having a very good record against both England and West Indies post World Cup 2017 and possesses excellent chance to make to the Finals.
But, as we all know, cricket is a game of uncertainty and no one is considered favorites till the last ball of the match is bowled. Any predictions made by Cricket Pundits are not more than a ray of hope for the cricket fans. However, India will still fancy their chances and keep an eye to bring their first ICC trophy home.