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Women's T20 World Cup: India's unbeaten journey to maiden final in Australia

Harmanpreet Kaur's team became the first Indian side to reach the final of a Women's T20 World Cup and will play either of Australia or South Africa in the summit clash.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 05, 2020 12:26 IST
Women's T20 World Cup
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Women's T20 World Cup: India's journey to maiden T20I World Cup final in Australia

India reached their maiden T20I World Cup final on Thursday courtesy of some luck as well as consistent cricket over the last couple of games in Australia. Harmanpreet Kaur & Co.'s conistent show was rewarded in the end as the semi-final against England ended in a washout and India were awarded a free pass to the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women's Day on March 8.

Courtesy of persistent rain in Sydney, even a toss of coin was not possible, thus, resulting in India being the first team to qualify for the summit clash because of finishing Group A on top with four wins from four games.

As the women became a part of history on Thursday, we take a look at their jounrey Down Under in this year's tournament.

INDIA VS AUSTRALIA, MATCH 1:

India were asked to bat first by Meg Lanning in the tournament opener and a bright start from Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma, the visitors lost way and kept losing wickets till the end. In the end, a steady 46-ball 49 from Deepti Sharma coming in at No.5 meant India finished on with a respectable total of 132/4 from their 20 overs.

But, the bowlers came out roaring and inflicted early damage on the Aussie batters as well. However, Alyssa Healy hung in there for a 35-ball 51 before Poonam Yadav outfoxed her with some fine bowling, resulting in a caught and bowled. Towards the end, Ashleigh Gardner gave some fight but Poonam and Shikha Pandey were too good to handle as they managed to bowl out the home side to 115.

Poonam returned with figures of 4/19 while Shikha grabbed 3/14 from 3.5 overs as India won by 17 runs.

INDIA VS BANGLADESH, MATCH 2:

India Tv - Shafali Verma

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Shafali Verma has been India's star performer with the bat

Once again sent in to bat first, India did a good job to score runs on the board despite talisman Smriti Mandhana not being in the squad. Once again, Shafali gave India a good start and was backed up by Jemimah Rodrigues as India posted 142/6 from their 20 overs despite captain Harmanpreet failing to score big again.

Coming out to bowl, India once again kept chipping in with consistent wickets and didn't allow Bangladesh batswomen to build regular partnerships. Nigar Sultana was the only batter who reached the 30s but Poonam, Shikha and Arundhati Reddy once again stood out with three wickets and two each respectively to give India their second win of the tournament by 18 runs.

INDIA VS NEW ZEALAND, MATCH 3:

New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine won the toss and put India to bat first. Mandhana made her return at the top but couldn't score big as Lea Tahuhu knocked her off early. But, 16-year-old Shafali once again got off to a blazing start before falling for 34-ball 46. Shafali's wicket put the brakes on the scoring and in the end, India could only manage 133/8 from their 20 overs.

Chasing 134, the White Ferns lost 3 early wickets with Devine falling as well. But, Maddy Green and Katey Martin got together for the fourth wicket and put on 47 runs before Green fell for 24. India clawed their way back in the game by getting Martin soon after and it looked like an easy win from there. However, Amelia Kerr then played a whirlwind innings and almost took New Zealand home with a 19-ball 34* but in the end, they fell short by 3 runs and India maintained their unbeaten start to the tournament.

INDIA VS SRI LANKA, MATCH 4:

India Tv - Poonam Yadav

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Poonam Yadav has 9 wickets to her name so far in the tournament

With a semi-final birth already confirmed, India came into the Sri Lanka game with a free mindset and played like league leaders do. For the first time bowling first in the tournament, India restricted the Lankan women to a miser 113/9 from their 20 overs with captain Chamari Athapaththu top scoring with 33. Radha Yadav grabbed 4 wickets for 23 runs while Rajeshwari Gayakwad grabbed 2/18.

Chasing 114 to win, Shafali once again was off to a flyer while Smriti and Harmanpreet failed yet again. The 16-year-old was run out for 47 but she had already set the chase up and it was in the end completed by Jemimah and Deepti, both of whom remained unbeaten on 15 each as India won by 7 wickets.

Courtesy of their win, India reached the semi-final with 4 wins in 4 and became the first team to qualify for the last four. 

For India, Shafali has the most number of runs with 161 from 4 games (3rd overall) while Poonam leads the charts in the tournament with 9 wickets from 4 games.

India will next play the winner of semi-final 2 between hosts Australia and South Africa in the final.

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