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“One Of The Toughest Innings…”: Smriti Mandhana After Guiding India To Women’s T20 World Cup Semi-finals

Star opener Smriti Mandhana on Monday described the match-winning 87-run knock against Ireland as one of her toughest innings due to the difficult conditions at St George’s Park. Thanks to Mandhana’s career-best knock, India posted 155 for six after opting to bat first in their last group match of the Women’s T20 World Cup. In their run chase, Ireland were 54 for two in 8.2 overs, when heavy rains stopped play. The DLS par score after 8.2 overs was 59, and Ireland were five runs short of that total.

As the match could not be restarted, India won the match under the D/L method.

“The finger is fine. One of the most toughest innings I would have played. Not the wicket but the pace they were bowling and with the wind, it got worse,” Mandhana said after the match.

“We were telling each other (with opening partner Shafali Verma) to try and maintain our shape. I was batting bad and she was not timing it well,” said Mandhana, who was named the player of the match for her 56-ball knock.

“But we were trying to discuss that and there was a lot of wind and we needed to get used to the pace they were bowling. Good to post some runs and go into the semis. The England match wasn’t the way we wanted.” India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said it was a good game for her side.

“Smriti got runs, which is very important for us. Whenever she gives us starts we get to good total.” Asked why she batted at number three, Harmanpreet, who made 13, said, “Just wanted to go up and spend some time in the middle, since I haven’t really got that.

“(Making to semis) Means a lot, we are working a lot and wanted to do well whenever we get the opportunities. Good to get into the semis and we will give our 100%. We always enjoy our match against them (Australia in semifinal). It will be a do or die and we want to play good cricket.” Ireland captain Laura Delany was disappointed with the manner in which the match ended.

“We were preparing for wind and we just tried to build partnership but rain got in our way.

“After 2018, Cricket Ireland have invested a lot in contracts. We want to improve on our fielding, it has overall been a very positive experience. Orla Prendergast has gone from strength to strength and if we could emulate her, it will be great.”

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