CHENNAI: The ongoing women’s Asia Cup has been full of surprises. Perhaps, the only constant has been the domination of India who has walked into the final after beating Thailand in the semifinals on Thursday.
In the first knockout game of the day, India fielded what has been their favourite playing XI, with seven spinners and two seamers. They had four specialist spinners and batted till deep with Sneh Rana slotted at No 8. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was leading the side after being rested for a couple of games.
Shafali Verma scored 42 runs off just 28 balls. Jemimah Rodrigues (27) and Harmanpreet (36) held the middle order together as they finished with 148/6. With the ball, India bowled 18 overs of spin with Deepti Sharma taking 3/7 as India completed a 74-run win. It was as clinical a performance as they could have wanted before entering the final.
Through the course of the tournament, India has been trying to provide game-time to the players who have warmed the bench. They have spoken extensively on how this tournament is a preparation for the T20 World Cup. That India lost only one match on their way to the final with almost every batter getting some runs will be the biggest positive for them. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka trumped Pakistan by one run in the other semifinal, advancing to the summit clash for the first time since 2008.
Brief scores: India 148/6 in 20 overs (Shafali 42; Tippoch 3/24) bt Thailand 74/9 in 20 overs (Chaiwai 21; Deepti 3/7); Sri Lanka 122/6 in 20 overs (Harshitha 35; Sandhu 3/17) bt Pakistan 121/6 in 20 overs (Bismah 42; Inoka 2/17).