Jones (L) and Sciver stitched an unbeaten match-winning partnership of 92 runs (AFP Photo)
Jones (L) and Sciver stitched an unbeaten match-winning partnership of 92 runs (AFP Photo)

India‘s hopes of making the ICC Women’s World T20 final were crushed when old nemesis England beat them in a one-sided semi-final encounter in Antigua on Friday. After bowling out India for 112, England (116/2) coasted to an eight-wicket chasing down the target in 17.1 overs to make their fourth final of the event.

Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma though gave India two early breakthroughs removing England openers inside five overs. However, Amy Jones (53*) and Natalie Sciver (52*) struck half-centuries apiece to put their team back on track as England setup a summit clash with Australia who earlier thumped West Indies in another semi-final earlier in the day.

England had also crushed Indian dreams in the 50-over Women’s World Cup final last year at Lord’s.

Indian batting endured a remarkable collapse losing eight wickets for just 23 runs in 5.4 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound. Opener Smriti Mandhana top-scored with a 23-ball 34-run knock while Jemimah Rodrigues hit a run-a-ball 26. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur failed to get going and managed only 16 off 20 balls.

For England, spinners ruled the roost with skipper Heather Knight leading from the front picking up three wickets for just nine runs in her two overs. 21-year-old off spinner Kirstie Gordon claimed two for 20 in her four overs including a double-wicket that saw the backs of Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet.

Mandhana and fellow opener Taniya Bhatia had got India off to a decent start after Harmanpreet opted to bat first, with the duo combining for a stand of 43 runs in six overs. Mandhana hit five fours and a six during her knock and was also given reprieve at short cover by Sophie Ecclestone in the fifth over. However, in the very next over, Mandhana was undone by the slow nature of the pitch as she plonked back an easy caught and bowled chance to Ecclestone, after hitting the left-arm spinner for a four and a six.

New bat Rodrigues rotated the strike well but once the spinners – Gordon and Danielle Hazell – started to bowl in tandem, runs dried up. The sustained pressure meant India lost Bhatia for 11 when she came down the track only to top edge one to the fielder.

Rodrigues found going tough and despite Harmanpreet walking out to the middle, England spinners managed to stifle India. At the halfway stage India reached 57/2.

The Indian batters then tried to up the ante with Harmanpreet taking her first six in the 14th over, but lost Rodrigues to a run-out in the same over. In the 16th over, bowled by Gordon, Krishnamurthy skied one to depart for 1. Harmanpreet also mistimed one in the same over as Natalie Sciver took a crucial catch at short cover.

India were five down for 94 and went on to lose their next five for just 16 runs. Knight picked up Dayalan Hemalatha and Anuja Patil off successive deliveries before two run outs accelerated the end to the Indian innings.

The Indian did well in the Powerplay overs, limiting England to 30/2 before Jones and Sciver took over and sealed England a place in the final.

Brief Scores: England 116/2 (Natalie Sciver 54*, Amy Jones 51*) beat India 112 (Smriti Mandhana 34; Heather Knight 3/9) by eight wickets