AFP/Birmingham, United Kingdom
India beat hosts England by just four runs to reach the final of the women’s Twenty20 cricket competition at the Commonwealth Games yesterday.
Opener Smriti Mandhana starred for India, smashing 61 off just 32 balls, and Jemimah Rodrigues made an unbeaten 44 as they made a challenging 164-5 at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground.
England were in with a chance with captain Nat Sciver (41) and Amy Jones (31) at the crease but both were run out in the desperate scramble for runs.
England finished on 160-6 off their 20 overs. India’s Sneh Rana took 2-28 in her four overs while Deepti Sharma conceded just 18 runs in her spell. Deepti and Rana finished with combined figures of 3 for 46 from eight overs, which proved decisive in the end.
India will face either Australia or New Zealand in today’s final, with England meeting the loser of that match for bronze.
India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur said she was delighted her team was performing under pressure.
“Other players were also taking responsibility so my job is easier – I don’t have to tell them what to do” she said.
Kaur praised the “outstanding” Mandhana.
“People are coming out of the box and are ready to do whatever is possible for the team – that’s what you need from your team-mates,” she said.
Commenting on her batting Mandhana said: “I’m happy to have found the touch, hope it will continue in the final too. The crowd is amazing, we usually have the majority but England had it today. I’ll take half an hour for the feeling to sink in.”
India 164 for 5 (Mandhana 61, Rodrigues 44*, Kemp 2-22) beat England 160 for 6 (Sciver 41, Wyatt 35, Jones 31, Rana 2-28) by four runs.
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