It’s been a strange campaign so far for India, to be honest. Yet to probably play a good all-round match, lost their one big test, but have reached semifinals and suddenly the biggest test in the game awaits them next. When you think of a team playing the World Cup semifinal, you’d imagine they are heading there with some momentum built, feels like India haven’t really done that. Maybe that one big performance will happen next, they’d hope. That will be all for the blog.

TOSS: Harmanpreet Kaur opted to bat first

First innings: India post 155/6, with Smriti Mandhana’s 87

Second innings: Ireland made 54/2 (8.2 overs) when play was stopped.

India win by 5 runs DLS method 

Player of the match: Smriti Mandhana for her career-best T20I score of 87. Says it was one of the toughest conditions she has batted in.

Ireland 54/2 (8.2 overs), PLAY STOPPED, DLS par score is 59: The cover is finally in place and the groundstaff are standing around, pinning it down. We shall wait.

Ireland 54/2 (8.2 overs): PLAY STOPPED, DLS par score is 59.

Ireland 54/2 (8.2 overs): PLAY STOPPED. Rain seems to be getting heavier and it seems impossible to keep the covers in place. We will start losing overs in 30 mins, says Hussain.

Ireland 54/2 (8.2 overs): PLAY STOPPED. The rain has gotten heavier. Ireland are 5 runs behind the DLS par score. Hussain reckons the wind should blow the rain out soon.

Ireland 53/2 (8 overs): Ireland are just behind the par score as the rain comes down. The players are staying on for now. Vastrakar bowling.

Ireland 53/2 (8 overs): Gayakwad into the attack and Mithali Raj speaks about how she has been off colour in this tournament. Wants her to get the confidence back and also bowl a bit fuller. Nearly a wicket off the first ball in that over, top edge from Lewis misses Richa Ghosh.

Ireland 48/2 (7 overs): Better second over from Pandey, just four singles. Nearly a catch at the end as Lewis misses a big shot but it falls safely.

Ah, look. Rain in sunshine and there’s a rainbow. Nasser Hussain adds these are terrible conditions to play cricket. Mithali Raj speaks about how India need a wicket here.

Ireland 44/2 (6 overs): What a finish to the powerplay for Ireland. Lewis begins and ends Deepti’s first over with a four, using the reverse and conventional sweep to good effect. Ireland have been brilliant since the first couple of overs.

Ireland 33/2 (5 overs): Another good over for Ireland. They have recovered from two big wickets quite nicely. Pandey seems to be struggling with her run-up a bit in the wind and the length is missing too. Four for Lewis.

Ireland 23/2 (4 overs): Good over for Ireland, a four down the ground and then a scoop. Four each for Lewis and Delany off Vastrakar. Time for Shikha Pandey from the other end.

Ireland 14/2 (3 overs): Delany with another love push through point off Thakur for her second four. The wind is now blowing away the boundary cushions too.

Ireland 9/2 (2 overs): Vastrakar gets the outside edge of Lewis but the ball doesn’t carry and goes for four. She follows that up with five dot balls. Solid from India so far.

WICKET! 0.5: Orla Prendergast 0(4) b Renuka Singh Good start? This is a great start. Terrific from Thakur. The dangerous Orla Prendergast is clean bowled and India have their second wicket in the first over. Ireland 1/2

WICKET! 0.1: Amy Hunter 1(1) Run Out Jemimah Rodrigues / Richa Ghosh What a start for India. Hunter pushed the ball through cover and slowly turned back, hesistated too and that is enough for Rodrigues to slide and nail the throw. Ireland 1/1

Renuka Thakur has the ball, Hunter and Lewis opening. India need to start well

India 155/6 after 20 overs: India once again struggled for impactful performances at the top of the order, apart from Mandhana’s brilliance. But they finish again strongly. This is not going to be easy for India, I think. The top three of Ireland can do some damage.

India 155/6 after 20 overs: A little cameo of importance from Rodrigues in the end, finishing with 19 off 11 balls. Dismissed off the last ball, stumped. But she takes India past 150.

Vastrakar joins Rodrigues in the middle. Last over coming up, 145/5.

WICKET! 18.5: Deepti Sharma 0(1) ct Georgina Dempsey b Orla Prendergast What a day for Orla. Deepti out first ball, leading edge. India 143/5

WICKET! 18.4: Smriti Mandhana 87(56) ct Gaby Lewis b Orla Prendergast Mandhana had her luck but played some smart shots too, getting help with the wind in the stadium evidently as Nasser Hussain pointed out. Finishes with her career-best T20I score. Struggle to imagine where India would be without this knock. India 143/4

India 140/3 (18 overs): That is really smart batting again by Mandhana. Going with the wind again, hits a four and six. (The four too looked like a six). She is on to 86 now!

India 126/3 (17 overs): Another life for Mandhana! And as Nasser Hussain said, she was looking to hit with the breeze. The fielder rushed in and misjudged it. Smart from Mandhana, with a tablespoon of luck,. She is into the 70s.

WICKET! 15.6: Richa Ghosh 0(1) ct Gaby Lewis b Laura Delany Another catch taken! India in big trouble here, Ghosh goes big early and the wind is playing a part again. Dismissed for the first time in the tournament. What an over from Delany. India 115/3

WICKET! 15.5: Harmanpreet Kaur 13(20) ct Orla Prendergast b Laura Delany What a catch! Ireland have spilled a number of chances today but Orla Prendergast takes a blinder this time. Harmanpreet Kaur is on her way back. The Indian captain struggled to get going India 114/2

FIFTY PARTNERSHIP: Mandhana makes it 51 off 36 balls for this stand with a superb slog sweep for six.

Nasser Hussain on comms, and he says how the wind has made conditions hard for everyone.

India 95/1 (14 overs): Mandhana might be starting to find her timing consistently. Two fours in that Dempsey over, both timed to perfection. But Kaur is unable to get going here, 12 off 18 at the moment.

India 95/1 (14 overs): HALF CENTURY! Another lofted shot in that over that doesn’t find the fielder, but Mandhana nails a slog sweep for six to score her second straight half century.

Most runs in women's T20Is

Player Mat Inns Runs
SW Bates (NZ) 143 140 3820
MM Lanning (AUS) 130 119 3346
SR Taylor (WI) 113 111 3166
H Kaur (IND) 150 135 3002
SFM Devine (NZ) 119 116 2969

India 86/1 (13 overs): Another milestone today for Harmanpreet Kaur. In the 13th over, with a double, she crosses 3000 runs in this format. The first Indian woman to do so.

India 71/1 (11 overs): Lovely timing this time from Mandhana, as she manages to get the lofted shot right, placing it straight down the ground off Paul.

India 63/1 (10 overs): Great over from the captain. Just one run off the bat, two wides. The wind has picked up evidently at the venue too but this has definitely not been a breeze for India.

Interesting, Harmanpreet Kaur is in at No 3. India need some momentum.

WICKET! 9.3: Shafali Verma 24(29) ct Amy Hunter b Laura Delany And the luck finally runs out. More dot balls for Shafali and it makes her go for a big shot, caught at square leg. And a great catch too, given Ireland’s struggles so far. India 62/1

India 60/0 (9 overs): There’s another dropped chance! Shafali this time off Paul’s bowling, Waldron can’t hold on. Tough though, heavy deflection. Mandhana mishits another lofted shot and looks down with a wry smile.

India 53/0 (8 overs): The pitch is definitely slow, and Mandhana’s attempted lofted shots are not getting the timing. Oh dear, Dempsey gives Mandhana another chance! Full toss, hit to deep midwicket and it’s put down. Delany spoke about it after the last match on how they are better than the fielding displays so far, and it is happening again.

India 46/0 (7 overs): There’s a life for Mandhana. Ireland have not been great in the field during the tournament, but were off to a good start today. But that is a catch that should have been taken at mid-off. Kelly unlucky.

India 42/0 (6 overs): That’s a good finish to the powerplay for India. Finally Shafali finds the gap with the slap shot she had been trying. Mandhana finishes the over with a delightful push past mid-off for another four.

India 30/0 (5 overs): That previous over was from Kelly. Now the spin of Paul.

India 30/0 (5 overs): Shafali continues to struggle. The dot balls. If you are out of form, try and get off strike regularly. Starting to get so predictable. Prevent fours, build pressure... that’s the way to go against this opening pair, almost certainly they are not going to rotate and put fielders under pressure.

India 27/0 (4 overs): The band is now in full flow and looks like Mandhana is also getting a move on. Finally an over where there was just one dot ball. A boundary for her in that Dempsey over, over short fine leg, with that swivel pull. Just cleared the fielder.

India 16/0 (3 overs): Terrific shot through point by Mandhana for four, coming down the pitch to gain some momentum. But it is still a good over from Orla, five dots and a wide. India and dot balls, a worry again.

India 11/0 (2 overs): The first four of the match is off Shafali’s bat but she is not quite getting her shape right. Managed to squeeze one past cover but struggles with the fuller line from Dempsey.

India 4/0 (1 over): The running between the wickets wasn’t great against England, but nice to see the Indian openers pick up three after Mandhana pulled one through square leg.

Prendergast has the ball in her hand, Shafali Verma with the bat in hand.

Contests to look forward to: 

  • Smriti Mandhana top-scored for India against England with a well-made half-century. Since the start of 2022, she has the highest runs among players from top-ten nations (Runs: 742, Avg: 32.3, SR: 130.2). Since 2022, she has been averaging 49.1 in 15 wins for India. Mandhana has had a brilliant record against leg-spin bowling in the last year or so (SR: 176.7, BPB: 4.7) and can take the attack to Ireland’s trump card Cara Murray. 
  • Orla Prendergast has been one of the most prolific Irish batters and also scored an excellent fifty against West Indies. In this time, she has been quite impressive against right-arm pacers (Avg: 89, SR: 136.9). Her powerplay strike-rate is 136.4 with 66% of her runs in this phase coming in boundaries. Prendergast’s new-ball battle with Renuka Singh could be a key contest.
— via SportRadar / ICC

Stat nuggets:

  • This is the first time these two teams are meeting in the mega-event. Previously, they have faced each other in just one Women’s-T20I where India won by 52 runs. 
  • India suffered a defeat against England in their last outing. A win here would seal their place in the semi-finals stage. In this tournament, Indian batters have been excellent in the final overs between 15-20, striking it at 160. They will be looking to put the Irish bowlers under pressure. 
  • Ireland, on the contrary, are out of contention for semi-final qualification after losing three matches on the bounce. They have now lost 16 consecutive matches in ICC Women’s T20 World Cups. They will be hopeful that they can bow out with a consolation win over a strong Indian side
— via SportRadar

6.16 pm: Two nice video features on Jemimah Rodrigues on Orla Prendergast. The latter is one of the finest allrounders in the game right now and will be key to Ireland’s chances.

INDIA XI: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh, (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Devika Vaidya, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad

IRELAND XI: Laura Delany (c), Amy Hunter, Gaby Lewis, Orla Prendergast, Eimear Richardson, Louise Little, Mary Waldron (wk), Leah Paul, Georgina Dempsey, Cara Murray, Arlene Kelly

TOSS: India captain Harmanpreet Kaur has won the toss and opted to bat first. A special day for her, she becomes the first cricketer to play 150 T20Is.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup where India continue their campaign with a contest against Ireland at St George’s Park, Gqeberha.

After the defeat against England, India face Ireland knowing their destiny is in their own hands. Simple, win and reach the semifinal. Pakistan’s defeat against West Indies has made sure there are no other complications to worry about on the field, weather permitting.

Despite starting off with two wins, it feels like India are yet to completely settle into the tournament and ahead of a potential semifinal against Australia, Harmanpreet Kaur and Co must look to up their game.

Group 2

 England 3 3 0 0 0 +1.776 6
 India 3 2 1 0 0 +0.205 4
 West Indies 4 2 2 0 0 -0.601 4
 Pakistan 3 1 2 0 0 +0.981 2
 Ireland 3 0 3 0 0 -1.989 0

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Disney+Hotstar and ICC match center

With stats, photos and text inputs from ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.