India defeats Thailand by 74 runs to advance to the women’s Asia Cup final

A dominant India crushed Thailand by 74 runs to storm into the final and set a record-extending seventh women’s Asia Cup title here on Thursday. With the victory over Thailand, India advanced to their eighth consecutive Asia Cup final, four in ODIs and four in T20s. Prior to 2012, the tournament was a 50-over-a-side event. The semifinal match against Thailand was always expected to be a walk in the park for India, and it proved to be so.

After being sent in to bat, India posted 148 for six and then restricted Thailand to 74 for nine in the lopsided contest. Thailand were never in the hunt when chasing the target, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. The Thai women, on the other hand, fared far better than their previous outing against India in the league stage, in which they were crushed by nine wickets. In that match, the Indians bundled out Thailand for 37 runs in 15.1 overs before easily chasing down the target.

Despite being reduced to 21 for 4 in the eighth over on Thursday, the Thai women performed admirably with the bat. Deepti Sharma (3/7) did the majority of the damage with her off-spin, taking the first three Thai wickets in consecutive overs (Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Natthakan Chantham, and Sornnarin Tippoch). Renuka Singh (1/6) then cleaned up Chanida Sutthiruang as Thailand’s chase unravelled.

With the bat, captain Naruemol Chaiwai (21) and Nattaya Boochatham (21) provided some resistance with a 42-run stand for the fifth wicket, but the asking rate was too high. They were the only two Thai batters to score in the double digits. After the duo left, the Indian bowlers simply ran through Thailand’s lower-order batting order. India’s other wicket takers were Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/10), Shafali Verma (1/10), and Sneh Rana (1/16).

Earlier, when called upon to bat, Shafali Verma was at her destructive best, top-scoring for India with a 28-ball 42 that included five boundaries and one over-the-fence hit. Verma and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana batted together for 38 runs in 4.3 overs before the former hit a low full toss from Phannita Maya straight to Onnicha Kamchomphu at mid on. Verma kept attacking but was the next batter out, miscuing off-spinner Sornnarin Tippoch’s flighted delivery to Thailand captain Naruemol Chaiwai at short midwicket. The majority of the dismissals were given to Thai bowlers as Indian batters were guilty of giving up their wickets after getting started.

Next up was Jemimah Rodrigues (27) who lofted one straight to Rosenan Kanoh at long-on off Thipatcha Putthawong. Tippoch then took two wickets in two overs, reducing India to 132 for 5 in the 18th over. She first caught wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh plumb in front of the wicket and then got the big wicket of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur as the batter attempted to clear the cover boundary an over later. Harmanpreet returned to lead the side after missing two matches due to a niggle and laced her 30-ball 36 with four hits to the fence. Pooja Vastrakar hit a quick 13-ball 17 with the help of a six near the end to help India get close to 150 runs.

Thailand’s best bowler was Sornnarin Tippoch, who had figures of 3/24. Harmanpreet, Renuka Thakur, and Radha Yadav replaced S Meghana, Meghna Singh, and Kiran Navgire in India’s playing eleven from their previous match.

(source : PTI)

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