India Women qualified for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final after their match against England Women was washed out on Thursday. India Women qualified because of finishing at the top of Group A, whereas England had finished second in Group B. Here, let's take a look at India Women's brilliant unbeaten run in the tournament before the final on Sunday.
In the tournament opener against hosts Australia, India Women were put in to bat and 16-year old batting sensation Shafali Verma took the attack to the bowlers before perishing for a 15-ball 29. Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma steadied the Indian innings and the Harmanpreet Kaur led side managed to post 132/4 from their 20 overs. Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy smashed the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground for a well-made half-century.
Kaur introduced Poonam Yadav in the tenth over of the innings, and the wily leg-spinner turned the match in India’s favour. Yadav ran through the famed Australian middle order and came close to picking up a hat-trick as well as a five-wicket haul. Poonam Yadav ended with figures of 4/19 and India Women scripted a memorable 17-run victory.
Put in to bat by Bangladesh Women, Shafali Verma again smashed her way through the attack, scoring a breezy 39. Jemimah Rodrigues (34) and Shafali Verma guided India Women to safety after captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma struggled to get going. Veda Krishnamurthy added the finishing touches as India amassed a fighting 142/6 from their 20 overs. Poonam Yadav again starred with the ball and along with Shikha Pandey, they choked the Bangladeshi batswoman for runs and scripted an 18-run victory.
For the third consecutive time, India Women lost the toss and were put in to bat and for the third time, Shafali Verma led India’s attack from the front. The 16-year-old did not get much support from her fellow teammates and India could only muster a 133/8 from their 20 overs despite Shafali Verma scoring 46. In reply, New Zealand struggled as Shikha Pandey and Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowled economically. Amelia Kerr’s breezy knock brought them close in the final stages, but they fell short by only 3 runs.
In their final group A game against Sri Lanka, India Women lost the toss and were tasked with chasing Sri Lanka’s total. Radha Yadav starred with the ball, picking up 4/23 as Sri Lanka could muster only 113/9 in their 20 overs. Shafali Verma (47) for the second consecutive game fell short of scoring a half-century, but Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma finished the game in the 15th over to hand India a seven-wicket win.
India Women qualified for the semi-final and were drawn to face off against England. India had never won a semi-final clash before in seven attempts but progressed through to the final on Thursday due to the match being abandoned due to rain. By finishing at the top of Group A, India qualified for the finals while England had to bow out after they finished second in Group B.