India have been invincible so far in the tournament, winning all their four game in group stage.India will face a England in the second semifinal on Friday.Young India’s all-round performance against Australia gives team confidence heading into semis.
Just like their victory over New Zealand in the very first game of the tournament, India’s win against Australia was a statement of intent. In a dead rubber, instead of easing up as they had done against Ireland, India bounded in with energy and enthusiasm, ready to take down the opposition. Smriti Mandhana led the team’s charge with a career best score of 83. Over her 55-ball knock, the left-hander, was at her fluent best, hitting nine fours and three sixes as she took the Australian bowlers to the cleaners. In the company of Harmanpreet Kaur, who smashed a 27-ball 43, she put on 68-runs for the third wicket as India cantered to 167 for 8.
After a rather quiet tournament so far, Mandhana finally found her timing and caressed the ball through the gaps with ease. She played on the bowler’s mind, stepping out and lofting them over the boundary, before hanging back to use the pace of the shorter, faster delivery that came next. Another impressive aspect of her innings was the newly developed and now, often played sweep shot with which she brought up her half century.