Women’s World T20: India determined to keep momentum going ahead of semis
Smriti Mandhana pulls. (Getty Image)

An ecstatic Harmanpreet Kaur praised the Indian team following their clinical win over Australia on Saturday. In yet another dominating performance, India crushed Australia by 48 runs in what turned out to be a one-sided affair. It was a perfect game for India as they bossed their opponents in every department in their final group match of the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 in Guyana.

After posting 167/8, India bowled out Australia for 119 and topped the group B with four wins in as many matches. Harmanpreet, who scored a rapid 43 off 27 balls, reckoned the team is reaping the benefits of having some quality matchwinners up their ranks.

“When you have a good team, you have to perform well,” Harmanpreet said after the match on Saturday. “I am very happy with the (performance from the) girls. We worked very hard and today, we fielded well. I am proud of the girls. Hope the sort of partnership I had with Smriti (68 in 7 overs) can keep coming.”

The foundation was laid by opener Smriti Mandhana, who top-scored for India with 83 off 55 deliveries. Mandhana, having struck nine boundaries and three sixes, eventually was dismissed in the 19th over but her innings could have ended much earlier had it not been from an insightful piece of advice from her partner Veda Krishnamurthy.

“First three matches I got starts but couldn’t convert it. So I just wanted to score big today. Everytime the ball hits my pads, I get a feeling that I’m out, so I didn’t want to refer it, but Veda insisted on the review and thanks to her we got 20-30 runs extra,” Mandhana said. “The way we bowled and fielded today was the best of the four games, but batting-wise the performance against New Zealand was better.”

India will face either West Indies or England in the semi-final on Thursday, and it is important that Harmanpreet’s team do not lose focus having performed so well in the tournament. The youngest member of the team, Jemimah Rodrigues stressed on the same and pointed out that it is important for India to keep their momentum going forward.

“I think it’s important not just because it’s Australia, but for ourselves and our team, because we’ve got the momentum,” Rodrigues was quoted as saying by ICC. “So we need to keep that momentum, keep doing the things, don’t focus mainly on the results. So I think it plays a huge impact on our team and I think we look forward to it, but not get carried away and try to do even better in the semi-finals.”