Smriti Mandhana starred with the bat in India’s five-run victory (DLS method) over Ireland in the 18th match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 at St George’s Park.
Riding on Mandhana’s 56-ball 87, the Women in Blue posted 155/6 on the board after opting to bat first. Chasing the target, Ireland were 54/2 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.
Speaking after the game, Smriti Mandhana described her match-winning knock as one of her toughest innings.
“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,” the left-handed opener said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“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,” added Mandhana, who was named the Player-of-the-Match for her 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 skipper 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 No. 3, Harmanpreet, who scored 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.”
(With PTI Inputs)