The Indian women's cricket team led by the chrismatic batter Smriti Mandhana has advanced to the semi-finals of the ongoing Asian Games 2023 after their quarterfinal clash versus Malaysia got washed out due to persistent drizzle on Thursday, September 21. India have managed to secure a semi-final berth due to their higher seeding as compared to Malaysia.
Malaysia opted to bowl first after calling it right at the toss but rain spoiled their fortunes and had the last laugh. Batting first, India got off to a rollicking start as the opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma got after the Malaysian bowlers right from the outset. The Women in Blue lost their first wicket in the form of Smriti as the southpaw perished after scoring 27 runs off just 16 balls, including five boundaries. She aggregated her runs at an impressive strike rate of 168.75.
However, Smriti's dismissal didn't have any impact on Shafali who continued her merry way and launched an onslaught on the Malaysian bowlers. The Malaysian bowlers were forced to duck for cover as Shahfali was in no mood to spare anyone and ended up scoring 67 runs off 39 balls. She biffed the ball to all corners of the park and struck four fours and five sixes at a strike rate of 171.79.
India's No. 3 batter Jemimah Rodrigues who is known for taking her time before going after the bowlers on most occasions looked in a different mindset today and went against the Malaysian attack as soon as she arrived in the middle. 'Jemi' as she is fondly known by her teammates struck a quickfire 47 off a mere 29 balls and her runs came at a blazing strike rate of 162.06.
The final flourish to India's innings was provided by wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh who played a cameo of 21 runs powered by three boundaries and a maximum. India steered to 173 for the loss of two wickets and Malaysia were asked to chase 177 in their quota of 15 overs before rain came to end the contest.