India will head into the semi-finals of the Women's World T20 2018 undefeated in the group stage as they thrashed the mighty Australian side by 48 runs at Guyana on Saturday. Opting to bat first, India piled up 167 led by a flamboyant Smriti Mandana and a swashbuckling Harmanpreet Kaur. The slow bowlers then took charge as Australia — hurt by Alyssa Healy’s absence due to concussion after a collision with a teammate — never went anywhere in the run-chase. Take a look at our report card of the Indian players from the clash on Saturday:
Smriti Mandana - 10/10
Despite getting a few starts this tournament, Mandhana hadn't converted any of them to substantial scores and that changed before the semis as she charged out all guns blazing against the Aussies. She kicked off on fifth gear, scoring 37 of India's 46 runs in the powerplay even after losing two partners. The arrival of skipper Kaur gave the opener sturdy company from the other end and the run-rate flourished. Mandhana remained unbeaten until the 19th over and took India to a challenging total despite a lower-order collapse.
Taniya Bhatia - 2/10
Back to opening the innings with Mithali Raj ruled out of this game, Bhatia perished after playing a couple of ugly shots. She stepped out with no intent and played an ill-timed loft to depart for two. Behind the stumps, she was once again excellent and effected a couple of sharp stumpings.
Jemimah Rodrigues - 1/10
After a great start to the tournament against the White Ferns, Jemimah is having a horror World T20 as she fell for six, this time being at the non-striker's end of Mandana's powerplay carnage. With no boundaries to her name, Jemimah was eager to make her presence felt and drove uppishly off Delissa Kimmince, only to be caught at short third man. India need their No 3 to step up particularly with them being over reliant on too few in the batting line-up.
Harmanpreet Kaur - 9/10
Kaur was on the charge from the word go and gave Mandhana some much needed company. The duo stitched together 67 in seven overs as India threatened to breach the 200-run mark for a brief while. Kaur struck three clean sixes and as many fours in her 27-ball 43 and was undone by a slower ball before she could inflict further damage.
Veda Krishnamurthy - 2/10
Veda has had a horror tournament and the lower middle order led by her would be a mighty headache as they go into the semi-finals. She hasn't made to double figures in this competition yet and on Saturday perished to an excellent catch before she could settle down at the wicket. Veda pulled off three exceptional catches in the field to make up for her no-show with the bat.
Dayalan Hemalatha - 1/10
Hemalatha went missing with Mandhana needing some support from the lower middle order. The Tamil Nadu youngster chopped one on from Ellyse Perry to depart for one, leaving India in a spot of bother after a threatening start. She wasn't used with the ball and ended up having another ordinary outing. With Veda out of touch, Hemalatha has a golden chance of leading the lower middle order with the bat in the latter stages of the tournament.
Deepti Sharma - 10/10
After a good opening stand, the Aussies seemed ready to gun down the target, but Deepti had other ideas. The off-spinner was the star of the night as she sent back the openers off consecutive deliveries to derail the Australian innings. She had Elyse Villani caught in the deep and cleaned up Beth Mooney around her legs. Deepti finished with figures of 2/24 from her four overs.
Anuja Patil - 10/10
Stepping into the side as another slow bowling option, Anuja made her presence felt immediately with figures of 3/15. She scythed through the lower order of the opposition, picking up all of her three wickets after the 16th over. With India's lower middle order batting a concern, Anuja might have to make way before the semi-finals despite a good show here.
Radha Yadav - 10/10
Radha dismissed the big fish, Meg Lanning, courtesy some flight and dip on the ball and was the most economical of the Indian bowlers. Immaculate with her channels and varying her flight cleverly, Radha never let the batters get on top of her. She added one more to her tally to end a fabulous day on the field.
Arundhati Reddy - 2/10
Replacing Mansi Joshi in the side after missing out on the one game against Ireland, Arundhati Reddy gave away 19 in her two overs and was less effective. The duo are in a tussle for the lone seam bowling spot in the side and Arundhati could lose out to Mansi owing to her lack of wickets and a slightly high economy in the tournament.
Poonam Yadav - 8/10
These days, few India Women T20 games pass by without Poonam making an impact. The five-foot tall leggie was once again right on the money and caused havoc with her sharp turn and variations. She had the dangerous Ashleigh Gardner caught out in the 11th over and beat Rachel Haynes in flight a few overs later to end with two wickets in the match. She would, undoubtedly, be India’s trump card heading into the semi-finals.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor
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