A breezy half-century by Mithali Raj and eight wickets for the spinners, led by Preeti Bose and Ekta Bisht, sealed India Women’s spot in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup final with an emphatic 52-run win over Sri Lanka Women.
After India chose to bat first at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground in Bangkok on Thursday (December 1), Raj took charge in partnerships of 46 and 50 with Smriti Mandhana (21) and Veda Krishnamurthy (21).
By the time she was run out off the penultimate ball of India’s innings, she had struck six boundaries in her 59-ball 62 and propped up the total to 121 for 4.
The new-ball pace-and-spin pair of Jhulan Goswami and Anuja Patil reduced Sri Lanka to 16 for 2 by the fifth over. Prasadini Weerakkody and Dilani Manodara showed signs of a fightback, but that was nipped in the bud by a double-wicket over from Bisht (3-8) in the eighth over.
Bose (3-14) and Poonam Yadav made sure no other batter got to double digits, keeping Sri Lanka to 69 for 9.
India, thus, maintained their unbeaten run in the Asia Cup. They have one match left, against Nepal, before the final on Sunday.
In the first game of the day, Thailand Women got the better of Nepal Women in the battle of the Associates, easing to an eight-wicket win.
With an opening stand of 30, Nepal looked like they were set to reverse a string of poor outings with the bat. But the fall of Jyoti Pandey (16) opened the floodgates, and a succession of single-digit scores had them bowled out for 63 in 19.5 overs.
Thai openers Nattakan Chantam (24) and Sirintra Saengsakaorat (27 not out) batted patiently, their 46-run stand in 12 overs setting the platform for the chase, which was eventually completed in 16 overs when the hosts got to 65 for 2.
Nepal Women 63 in 19.5 overs (Sornnarin Tippoch 2-5, Suleeporn Laomi 2-7) lost to Thailand Women 65/2 in 16 overs (Nattakan Chantam 24, Sirintra Saengsakaorat 27*; Sarita Magar 2-13) by eight wickets.
India Women 121/4 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 62, Smriti Mandhana 21, Veda Krishnamurthy 21) beat Sri Lanka Women 69/9 in 20 overs (Preeti Bose 3-14, Ekta Bisht 3-8) by 52 runs.