India defeated Ireland by 5 runs via the DLS method in a rain-marred contest to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in South Africa. Chasing 156 for victory, Ireland opener Gaby Lewis (32*) and captain Laura Delany (17*) batted superb to keep their side in the hunt. But Ireland was five runs behind the DLS par score when rain forced an early end to the game. Harmanpreet Kaur-led side had their luck to seal a win and now they will face Australia in the semi-finals.
After deciding to bat first, India got off to a good and steady start as openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana added 62 runs in 9.2 overs. Ireland skipper Delany gave her side the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Shafali for 24. Mandhana alongside Harmanpreet (13) batted brilliantly to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Delany struck again to remove the Indian captain, who achieved a special landmark, becoming the first woman cricketer to play in 150 T20Is. Delany then bagged the hard-hitter Richa Ghosh for a golden duck. Jemimah Rodrigues chipped with 19 runs while Mandhana smashed a career-best 87, helping India to post a competitive total of 155/6 in 20 overs. Delany starred with three wickets while Orla Prendergast picked up two.
In reply, Ireland had a poor start as Amy Hunter walked back to the dressing room in the very first ball. Rodrigues’ brilliant effort on the field helped Ghosh to dismantle the stumps on time and run-out Hunter. Renuka Singh then cleaned up Prendregast in the same over to put Ireland under pressure. But Lewis and Delany played well to stay in the contest but the rain gods had other plans and favored India.