Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Women’s Asia Cup: India beat Thailand; enter final

Shafali Verma made a quickfire 42 while Deepti Sharma bagged phenomenal figures of 3/7 as India defeated Thailand by 74 runs to enter the final of Women’s Asia Cup at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
After India posted 148/6 in their 20 overs on a sluggish pitch, their bowlers produced another stunning show to restrict Thailand to 74/9 in their 20 overs. India will now await the winner of the second semi-final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to be held later in the afternoon, to see who they come up against in the title clash on Saturday.
Pushed into batting first, Shafali got going with a brace of boundaries via sweep and loft in the first three overs. After Shafali got a reprieve as the cover fielder co’ldn’t take the catch, Smriti Mandhana sweetly punched a backfoot drive through cover to make it third boundary in the third over. Shafali then took on Chanida Sutthiruang, by striking successive fours off her deliveries through mid-on. The opening partnership ended on 38 when Smriti hit a full toss straight to mid-on off Phannita Maya. Shafali marched on to swipe through mid-wicket for four and smacked Thipatcha Putthawong for a huge six over long-on.
Shafali’s 28-ball knock ended when she was caught by a sharp silly mid-on off Sornnarin Tippoch in the tenth over. Jemimah Rodrigues and captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined forces to hit five boundaries in the next three overs before the former was beaten in flight and holed out to long-on in the 14th over.
Harmanpreet hung around to hit back-to-back fours through the gap in off-side before holing out to deep mid-wicket in the 18th over as Thailand made a good comeback in the last five overs, conceding 31 runs and taking three wickets, including of Richa Ghosh and Deepti Sharma, to keep India to 148/6.
Brief scores: India 148/6 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 42, Harmanpreet Kaur 36; Sornnarin Tippoch 3-24) beat Thailand 74/9 in 20 overs (Nattaya Boochatham 21, Naruemol Chaiwai 21; Deepti Sharma 3-7, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-10) by 74 runs

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