Hangzhou, Sep 21 (IANS) India entered the semi-finals of the women's T20 cricket event at the Asian Games in Hangzhou after their quarter-final clash against Malaysia was abandoned due to rain at Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field on Thursday.
The toss was delayed due to rain before India, led by Smriti Mandhana, were put into batting first. Rain interrupted their innings in between, but India’s batters feasted hugely from the modest challenge and loose deliveries bowled by Malaysian bowlers.
Opener Shafali Verma smashed five sixes and four boundaries in her aggressive knock of 67 off 39 balls, smashing shots all over the park and bringing her power-hitting to the fore. She also shared a 57-run opening stand with Smriti, who made 27 off 16 balls and hit boundaries off full tosses before falling in final over of power-play.
Jemimah Rodrigues, who stitched an 86-run stand with Shafali, came in with her big hits and found the gaps easily to be unbeaten on 47 off 29 deliveries as India made 173/2 in 15 overs, where every Indian batter’s strike-rate was above 100.
Richa Ghosh, back into the team after missing Bangladesh tour, provided apt finishing touches through her powerful shots in a cameo of 21 not out off just seven deliveries, including hitting 18 off those runs via three fours and a six in the final over off pacer Mas Elsya, apart from two singles.
Malaysia's chase saw them face only two balls before the rain returned, this time to eventually lead to the match being called off. Due to the higher seeding, India managed to move to the semi-finals stage, where they could be expected to face either Bangladesh or Hong Kong on Sunday.
Brief Scores: India 173/2 in 15 overs (Shafali Varma 67, Jemimah Rodrigues 47 not out, Mas Elysa 1-26, Mahirah Izzati Ismail 1-28) against Malaysia 1/0 in 0.2 overs (match abandoned due to rain)
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