India got a batting lift from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, and they followed it up with a tigerish defence of their 167/8 to pull off a 48-run win against Australia in a top-of-the-table Group B match of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.
Batting first, India were without an unwell Mithali Raj and lost Taniya Bhatia early. Mandhana, though, looked in fantastic touch, contributing 35 to a second-wicket partnership of 44.
She took a back seat once Kaur got into the game, as the captain dominated the third-wicket stand of 68 with her deputy. Good fielding by the Australians – the highlight of which was a one-handed catch jumping to her back by Tayla Vlaeminck – prevented the other batters from building on the strong start, but it was still a strong total.
The in-form Alyssa Healy had a mild concussion after colliding with Megan Schutt on the field, and the reworked batting order didn’t look particularly settled. Deepti Sharma sent the openers back in consecutive balls in the fourth, and India’s spinners chipped away.
The bowlers were supported well by the fielding: wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia was involved in three dismissals while Veda Krishnamurthy held on to four catches in the deep.
India, thus, remain unbeaten going into the semi-final in Antigua, where they will meet either the Windies or England.