India now need not only a win against Ireland but also a big one to improve their net run rate from the current + 0.205.
Gqeberha: A defeat against England denting their confidence, India will look to bounce back with a big win against lowly Ireland to remain in contention for a semifinal berth in the Women’s T20 World Cup on Monday.
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After the 11-run loss to England on Saturday, their first defeat in the showpiece, India are in second spot with four points from three matches behind England (six points from three straight wins) who have qualified for the semifinals.
The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side will now need not only a win against Ireland in their last group match on Monday but also a big one to have any chance of filling up the remaining semifinal spot from Group 2. They need to improve their net run rate from the current + 0.205.
Pakistan, who have lost to India in their opening match, have two points from two matches and they also have a chance to make it to the last four if they win their last two matches. In that case, they will also have six points.
Currently, Pakistan, who play against the West Indies Sunday night, have a better NRR of +1.542 than that of India, though they are yet to face England who have a NNR of +1.776. Ireland, on the other hand, are already out of contention for a semifinal berth, having lost all their three matches.
To win big against Ireland, the Indian batting will need to fire, especially captain Harmanpreet and opener Shafali Verma, as both have not played a significant knock so far. Harmanpreet’s scores in the three matches so far have been 16, 33 and 4, below par by her standards, while Shafali have made 33, 28 and 8.
Young Richa Ghosh has been the most consistent batter for India with scores of 31, 44 and 47 not out, and she would be looking to continue with her good form against Ireland.
After her match-winning knock of 53 not out against arch-rivals Pakistan, Jemimah Rodrigues has scored 1 and 13 in the next two matches, and she would look to make the most out of a relatively weaker Irish attack.
An impressive 52-run knock from vice captain Smriti Mandhana, though in a lost cause, against England also bodes well for India as she can put the Ireland bowlers to sword if they fail to keep it tight.
In the bowling department, the 5/15 against England — her career-best — should spur pacer Renuka Singh to get more against Ireland while the seasoned Deepti Sharma had been the most consistent Indian bowler so far.
India would expect a much better show from seasoned left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad who is without a wicket after three matches while Pooja Vastrakar and Radha Yadav also need to contribute more than what they have done so far in the tournament.
For Ireland, top-order batter Orla Prendergast has been in good nick with 109 runs from three matches, while Gaby Lewis has scored 84 in total from the same number of matches. Cara Murray and Arlene Kelly have taken three wickets apiece and they will be wary of the strong Indian batting line-up.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Shikha Pandey.
Ireland: Laura Delany (c), Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Arlene Kelly, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Rachel Delaney, Eimear Richardson, Mary Waldron.