Chasing a competitive 157-run target, Ireland, who were already out of semi-final contention, were 54 for 2 in 8.2 overs when rain stopped the proceedings. The match was called-off after a wait of an hour or so, paving way for India to progress further in the tournament.
As it happened: India vs Ireland
With the victory, India finished the group stage with six points from four games. Currently, they are in second position in Group B, behind England (six points from three games), who have a better net run rate at this moment. England will play Pakistan on Tuesday in their final group game, which will decide the final positioning in the group. India will play Australia in the semi-final if they finish second in the group standings.
India edge Ireland after rain came down at St George’s Park ⛈They are through to the semi-finals to join England… https://t.co/K3Jay9IaV7
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1676910079000
Earlier, Mandhana (87 off 56 balls) and Shafali Verma (24 off 29) helped India post 155 for 6 in their 20 overs.
Ireland’s run chase then got off to a disastrous start, losing two wickets in the very first over bowled by in-form pacer Renuka Thakur Singh. Opener Amy Hunter was run out off the first ball, while going for a second run. Four balls later, Renuka clean bowled Orla Prendergast to reduce Ireland to 1 for 2 in 0.5 overs.
Gaby Lewis (32 not out off 25) and skipper Laura Delany (17* off 20) added a valuable fifty-run stand to resurrect the Ireland run chase, before the rain came to play spoilsport. Play did not resume thereafter.
At that point, Ireland needed 102 runs in 70 balls and were five runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score of 59.
𝙄𝙉𝙏𝙊 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙎𝙀𝙈𝙄𝙎! 🙌 🙌#TeamIndia have marched into the Semi Final of the #T20WorldCup 👏 👏Well Done! 👍 👍 https://t.co/mEbLtYhSm5
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 1676911008000
This is India’s third successive semifinal appearance following the one in 2018 and runners-up finish in 2020. With the win, last edition’s runners-up India bounced back from the 11-run defeat to England in their previous match.
After opting to bat first, India were off to a fine start with the opening duo of Mandhana and Shafali putting on 62 runs in just under 10 overs.
But Shafali once again got out after getting a start, caught by Amy Hunter off the bowling of captain Delany, who introduced herself into the attack after the frontline bowlers failed to get the team a breakthrough.
Harmanpreet joined Mandhana in the middle, and the two looked to build on a partnership. Playing strokes turned out to be difficult on a surface that appeared to be a bit on the slower side.
The slow nature of the wicket notwithstanding, Mandhana maintained an excellent strike rate and reached her half-century in style, hitting leg-spinner Cara Murray for a six over deep mid-wicket.
Mandhana was lucky to have survived a scare just before getting to her fifty, but Arlene Kelly could not complete the catch after the batter top-edged a tossed-up delivery from Murray towards mid-wicket.
Mandhana then struck two successive fours off Georgina Dempsey, before sending Delany over the cow corner for another maximum.
Ireland came back with the wickets of Harmanpreet and Richa Ghosh in successive balls, but Mandhana continued to attack the bowlers and hit two more boundaries off Kelly before giving the same treatment to Delany, striking her for a four and a six to help India inch towards 150.
A century was on the cards, but Mandhana’s brilliant innings came to an end as she tried to take the aerial route.
Jemimah Rodrigues struck two fours in the final over, before getting off in the last ball of the India innings for a 12-ball 19.
(With inputs from PTI)