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India hammer Ireland, storm into semis 

Providence, November 15

Indian spinners produced yet another controlled performance to clinch a semifinal berth with a comfortable 52-run victory against Ireland at the ICC women’s World T20 on Thursday. After India managed to score 145/6 on a slow  track, their spinners kept the Irishwomen on a tight leash, restricting them to 93/8 in 20 overs.

While India’s batting performance left a lot to be desired, spinners Radha Yadav (3/25), Deepti Sharma (2/15), Poonam Yadav (1/14) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (1/10) were economical, and picked up wickets as well. India’s strategy of packing the off-side with fielders and bowling wide of the stumps paid off as the Ireland batswomen struggled to rotate the strike.

Earlier, riding on a painstaking half-century from former skipper Mithali Raj, India managed 145/6 after being put in to bat. Mithali (51 off 56 balls) added 67 runs in 10 overs with Smriti Smriti (33 off 29 balls) but the innings never gained the required momentum on a track that was a bit damp due to overnight showers.

The decision to bring in Jemimah Rodrigues at No. 3 didn’t work out well as Mithali never got going despite hitting four boundaries and a six. Having effectively scored 22 off five deliveries, Mithali scored another 21 off 51 balls. Her failure to rotate the strike affected the momentum once Smriti was bowled by medium-pacer Kim Garth, trying a wild slog. She hit four boundaries and a six.

Young Jemimah hit three fours in his 11-ball 18 but was stumped off Laura Delany’s wide delivery when she tried to give her the charge. Skipper Harmanpreet hit a six but was soon dismissed. As wickets fell at one end, Mithali couldn’t shift gears at the other end. She was finally out in the 19th over, deceived by a slower delivery from Kim.

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