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Women's Asia Cup: India crush Thailand to enter final

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 13, 2022 18:05 IST
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Deepti Sharma

IMAGE: Deepti Sharma celebrates with Shafali Verma. Photograph: ACC/Twitter

A dominant India crushed minnows Thailand by 74 runs to storm into the final and remain on course for a record-extending seventh women's Asia Cup title in Sylhet on Thursday.

The win over Thailand took India to their eighth straight Asia Cup final -- four each in ODI and T20 formats. Before 2012, the tournament was a 50-over-a-side affair.

The semifinal contest against Thailand was always expected to be a cakewalk for India and it turned out to be so.


India posted 148 for six after being sent in to bat and then restricted Thailand to 74 for 9 in the lop-sided contest.

Chasing the target, Thailand were never in the hunt as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

The Thai women, however, fared much better than their previous outing against India in the league stage, where they were crushed by nine wickets.

In that match, the Indians bundled out Thailand for just 37 runs in 15.1 overs and then chased down the target with consummate ease.

On Thursday, the Thai women gave a better account of themselves with the bat despite being reduced to 21 for 4 in the eighth over.

Deepti Sharma (3/7) did most of the damage with her off-spin, picking up the first three Thai wickets -- Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Natthakan Chantham and Sornnarin Tippoch -- in consecutive overs.

Medium pacer Renuka Singh (1/6) then cleaned Chanida Sutthiruang as Thailand's chase fell apart.

Captain Naruemol Chaiwai (21) and Nattaya Boochatham (21) showed some resistance with the bat with a 42-run stand for the fifth wicket but the asking rate was too tall. In fact, they were the only two Thai batters to register double digit scores.

Once the duo departed, the Indian bowlers just ran through Thailand lower-order batting line-up.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/10), Shafali Verma (1/10) and Sneh Rana (1/16) were the other wicket takers for India.

Shafali Verma

IMAGE: Shafali Verma hammered a 28-ball 42. Photograph: ACC/Twitter

Earlier, invited to bat, Shafali Verma was at her destructive best, top-scoring for India with a 28-ball 42 with the help of five boundaries and one hit over the fence.

Together with vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, Verma shared 38 runs in 4.3 overs before the former hit a low full toss from Phannita Maya straight to Onnicha Kamchomphu at mid on.

Verma continued her attacking batting but was the next batter to depart, miscuing off-spinner Sornnarin Tippoch's flighted delivery to Thailand skipper Naruemol Chaiwai at short midwicket.

Most of the dismissals were gifts to Thai bowlers as the Indian batters were guilty of giving away their wickets after getting starts.

Jemimah Rodrigues (27) was the next to loft one straight to Rosenan Kanoh at long-on off Thipatcha Putthawong.

Tippoch then had two wickets in successive overs to reduce India to 132 for 5 in the 18th over.

First, she caught wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh plumb in front of the wicket and an over later, got the big wicket of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur as the batter tried to clear the cover boundary.

Harmanpreet, who returned to lead the side after missing out two matches due to a niggle, looked in good nick and laced her 30-ball 36 with four hits to the fence.

Towards the end, Pooja Vastrakar hit a quick 13-ball 17 with the help of a six to take India close to the 150-run mark.

Sornnarin Tippoch was the best bowler for Thailand with figures of 3/24.

India had made three changes from their last match playing eleven with Harmanpreet, Renuka Thakur and Radha Yadav coming in for S Meghana, Meghna Singh and Kiran Navgire.

Pakistan batsman taking a shot

IMAGE: Sri Lanka clinched a 1 run victory to enter the Asia Cup final against India. Photograph: ICC Cricket Twitter

Sri Lanka stole a thrilling one-run victory in the semi-final of the Asia Cup against Pakistan to set a title clash with India on Saturday.

Sri Lanka chose to bat after winning the toss and posted a lack-lustre total of 122 runs. Pakistan's Nashra Sandhu picked up three wickets to help her team restrict Sri Lanka to a low total.

Pakistan's chase started with a bang, with Ali being the aggressor of the opening pair of Muneeba Ali and Sidra Ameen.

The batter stroked three boundaries in the first three overs and looked in great touch and set to score big. Pakistan was at 31/0 after three overs owing to Ali's aggression and some wayward bowling from the Sri Lankan bowlers as they gave away plenty of extras.

Sri Lanka was desperate for a wicket and it came in the form of a freak run-out, as Muneeba Ali who looked set for a good inning was run out to fielding brilliance from the Sri Lankans and some harsh luck on the side of the Pakistani. She was dismissed for 18(10).

Pakistan's captain Bismah Maroof walked in to bat at three and came out all guns blazing as she struck a boundary on her first ball, making her intentions very clear. She hit another boundary at the beginning of the fifth over.

Pakistan ended their powerplay at 46/1 after the team showed their aggression from the beginning of the inning.

Sidra Ameen's uncomfortable stay of 9 (20) was ended by Hasini Perera in the seventh over, to give Sri Lanka the second wicket.

The Pakistani captain then shared the crease with Omaima Sohail as the duo took Pakistan to the 10-over mark, without losing any more wickets. The team scored 62/2 at the halfway mark.

Sohail was then dismissed by Kavisha Dilhari to give Sri Lanka its third wicket. The last match's star performer Nida Dar, walked in at number four to share a 42-run stand with the Pakistani captain.

Maroof played a superb inning and looked set to take the team home, but was dismissed with the victory just within reach. She saw the timber being knocked over by Sugandika Kumari to give Sri Lanka an opening.

They struck again in the 19th over to dismiss Ayesha Naseem to make things more nervy and exciting as the match headed into the final few overs.

Pakistan needed nine runs off the final over to ensure an India-Pakistan Asia Cup final but faltered in the final over, knocking them out of the tournament.

Pakistan was unable to find boundaries in the final overs, as the team just couldn't find the gaps and lost wickets at crucial junctures.

It required three runs of the final ball to win the match and two runs to force a super over but Nida Dar could only manage one run to hand Sri Lanka a dramatic win, setting up the title clash with India on Saturday, October 15.

Brief Score: Sri Lanka 122/6 (Harshitha Madavi 35, Anushka Sanjeewani 26; Nashra Sandhu 3/17) vs Pakistan 121/6 (Bismah Maroof 42, Nida Dar 26; Inoka Ranaweera 2/17)

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