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India Women vs Sri Lanka Women: Indian Eves Survive A Scare

By on June 16, 2009

icc women's world twenty20 - Mithali Raj

India Women won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)

Mithali Raj drove India into the semi-finals after her fellow batters made heavy weather of the chase against Sri Lanka in a low-scoring encounter.

Sri Lanka reached 94 for 5 from a rain-reduced 18 overs, but India was stumbling in reply before player of the match Mithali stroked an assured 32 not out to seal the 5-wicket win.

Sri Lanka started off stodgily on a damp wicket, reaching only 34 for 3 from the first ten overs after opting to bat.

Some bright hitting from Deepika Rasangika late on, with a 20-ball unbeaten 24, pushed her team forward but the total still looked light. An impressive fielding effort, however, gave it a chance.

India still has some troubles in the batting department, however, evidenced again by its display against Sri Lanka. Three of the four top batters fell within nine runs – including the impressive run-out of Rumeli Dhar (0) from Chamari Atapaththu’s direct throw from point – leaving it wobbling at 36-3.

Debutante Punam Raut (30) took up the baton, but was also victim of a sharp run-out and when Reema Malhotra fell for 12, India still had work to do (79-5).

Mithali assumed the senior role and in the penultimate over stroked three classical cover drives off Sripali Weerakkody – two fours and a single – to finish a game which had its share of tense batting moments.

“I didn’t do my job in the earlier games so it was time to do something for the team,” said Mithali. “It was very dicey. When I went in we had to preserve our wickets while still scoring.

“I was very tense. I may have looked cool – it’s like the duck looking calm while it’s paddling furiously under water.
“I don’t have a big build, timing is my strength. But I put everything into those two boundaries at the end.”
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Polgampola said: “Mithali was brilliant for India. When she came in, the boundaries started to flow for them and the game began to turn. Perhaps we were a bit slow at the start of our innings, but we couldn’t push on because we lost wickets.”

Earlier, New Zealand rode into the semi-finals unbeaten after recording its third successive win, beating South Africa.

Aimee Watkins’s side had too much know-how for their spirited Group A opponents as they restricted their opponents to 124-4 in persistent drizzle before easing home by six wickets and are now likely to face India at Trent Bridge.

New Zealand’s win was far more comfortable. Though Cri-Zelda Brits (57*) and Susanna Benade (44) added 91 for the fourth wicket they were light on singles, leaving South Africa 30 runs short of a challenging total.
New Zealand could even afford a couple of cheap dismissals, as Suzie Bates (24) and Watkins (35) sent up soft catches.

Watkins said: “I thought we did really well today, especially with those conditions in the field. We were always looking comfortable.”

South Africa could still advance on run rate if they beat Australia on Tuesday.

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