India remained undefeated in Group B after beating Australia by 48 runs at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Saturday. Electing to bat, India posted a competitive 167/ 8 riding on Smriti Mandhana’s quickfire 83 and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s meaningful 43. India then returned to restrict Australia for 119/9 in 19.4 overs to the table in Group B. Alyssa Healy was absent hurt following a collision with Megan Schutt in the Indian innings.
For her strokeful 55-ball 83, Mandhana was awarded as the player of the match. Reflecting on her innings, she spoke at the post-match presentation and said, “Quite relieved as I was getting starts but not converting them. Wanted to go out there and score big runs. Glad that I could do it today.”
“Whenever the ball hits my pads, I always think it’s out, don’t know why (laughs) but she (Veda) told me to take the review. Thanks to her, we got 20-30 runs extra. The way we bowled and fielded today was probably the best we did all tournament. In that aspect, this win was special,” she added.
While Mandhana was the star of the show with the bat, the Indian spinners spun their web over the Kangaroos to stifle them in the run chase. Anuja Patil (3/15) snared three wickets. Giving her support from the other end was Poonam Yadav (2/28), Radha Yadav (2/13) and Deepti Sharma (2/24) snapping two each to restrict Australia for 119/9.
India thus notched up their fourth victory in as many match to top group B. They will now take on either England or West Indies in the second semifinals. Both India and Australia were already in the semifinals after winning the first three matches in group B.
(With inputs from PTI)