Women’s World T20: Everyone thought we wouldn’t make it to semis after Asia Cup loss, says Smriti Mandhana

By: Sports Desk |

Published: November 16, 2018 3:10:59 pm

India beat Ireland by 52 runs. (Source: BCCI Women Twitter)

After India beat Ireland by 52 runs in the ICC Women’s World T20 match to advance to semifinals, vice-captain Smirti Mandhana said that they want to maintain their dominant form in every match. She also spoke about how everyone back home thought that they would not make it to the semifinals of the tournament after failure of winning the Asia Cup 2018 six months ago.

India have maintained an unbeaten run at the tournament taking place in Guyana and now face Australia, who are the other unbeaten team in the group, in their final league match on Saturday and Mandhana said that they would be looking ‘to go all out’. “I think we will be looking at it as a match only and not just like we need to be on the top of the table of this group,” she said. “That’s what our mindset will be, and to go all out. Before coming into the World T20, Ramesh (Powar, the coach) had told us that you have to dominate each and every match, so that is the only mindset which we had the last three matches, and I don’t think it will change in the next match.”

Speaking on their win against Ireland on Thursday, Mandhana, who scored 33, said, “The first two matches I definitely felt we were good, but today I felt batting could have been better. But bowling and fielding I think we are really good, and we dominated the opposition.”

“I didn’t think that 140 was good enough because in T20s you can’t keep thinking about the wicket and the outfield because it’s such a fast game,” she said. “So I think we were aiming at 165 to 170, but unfortunately we could not do that.”

This is India’s second consecutive run to the semifinal in an ICC tournament but the side failed to win the Asia Cup after going down to Bangladesh in the final. “It means a lot because after the Asia Cup final, a lot of things happened back home,” Mandhana said. “Everyone had actually thought that we wouldn’t even make it to the semi-finals because we did not even win the Asia Cup. But I guess everyone was motivated enough after the Asia Cup that this time, this is the time everyone will be watching, and we have to prove our point because in 2017 we qualified for the final, but only it cannot happen just once.

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Gritty Bangladesh Stun Pakistan To Set Up Asia Cup Final Date With India

Later, opener Imam-ul-Haq (83) turned out to be the lone bright spot as Pakistan faltered in pursuit of the modest chase to be restricted to 202 for nine. Bangladesh will now take on India in the title clash in Dubai on Friday.    Just like Bangladesh, Pakistan’s chase got off to a disastrous start as they were reduced to 18 for three in 3.3 overs. But Imam did not give up the fight and stitched two crucial partnerships with Shoaib Malik (30) and Asif Ali (31) to keep Pakistan in the hunt. Imam first stitched 67 runs for the fourth wicket with Malik and then shared crucial a 71-run partnership with Ali to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive.

But the day belonged to Bangladesh as they never gave up hope and fought tooth and nail to stay one step ahead of Pakistan in the match. Pakistan did not have the best of starts as they lost Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed early. Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman (4/43) and off-spinner Mehidy Hasan (2/28) did the early damage for Bangladesh.

But the turning point of the match was Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s blinder of a catch at midwicket to remove Malik off Rubel Hossain’s bowling in the 21st over.

Mortaza dived full length to his left to latch on to a screamer as Malik went for a chip over midwicket.    That was the trigger that Bangladesh needed as Bangladesh bowled and fielded brilliantly inside the circle to frustrate the Pakistani batsmen.

However, Imam and Ali raised some visions of a victory with their 71-run stand but both the batsmen’s dismissal in quick succession derailed Pakistan’s chase.

Earlier, Bangladesh too were off to a horrendous start as they lost their first three wickets with the scoreboard reading just 12 in 4.2 overs.

Left-arm pacer Junaid did the early damage, removing openers Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar in his consecutive overs. One-down Mominul Haque failed once again as he was cleaned up by young left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi (2/47) in the fourth over.

But Bangladesh’s go-to man in crisis situations, Mushfiqur once again came to his side’s rescue and in Mithun’s company first stabilised the rocking ship and in the process brought up the century stand in 176 deliveries.    In dire need of a partnership, the duo started cautiously and grew in confidence as the match progressed. Both Mushfiqur and Mithun punished the bad deliveries that came their way.

But just when the partnership was looking dangerous, Pakistan got the vital breakthrough in the form of Mithun who was caught by Hasan Ali (2/60) off his own bowling in the 35th over. 

Mithun’s second fifty of his career came off 84 balls with the help of just four boundaries.

Imrul Kayes (9) looked shaky from the onset and didn’t last long, falling LBW to leg-spinner Shadab Khan (1/52). The diminutive Mushfiqur, however, went about his business with a calm head and looked set for a well-deserved century but luck was not on his side as he sneaked a good length delivery from Afridi to Sarfraz Ahmed just one short of the three-figure mark.

Mushfiqur scored his runs off 116 balls with the help of nine fours. Towards the end Mahmudullah (25) and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza tried to use their long handle to maximum effect to take Bangladesh beyond the 250-run mark. For Pakistan, comeback man Junaid Khan shone with the ball, registering impressive figures of four for 19 from his nine overs.

(With PTI Inputs)

Twitter Hails ‘Magician’ Ravindra Jadeja For Lightning Fast Run-Out vs Bangladesh In Asia Cup Final. Watch

Ravindra Jadeja is known for his sensational fielding skills and it was once again on display in the Asia Cup 2018 final between India and Bangladesh. It was the last ball of the 27th over of Bangladesh’s batting innings when teammate Yuzvendra Chahal was bowling to Bangladesh opener Liton Das with Mohammad Mithun at the other end. A huge confusion between the two batsmen coupled with Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliant reflexes, Mohammad Mithun fell short and stranded off his crease. The ball which was flighted outside off, Das had drilled the ball towards extra cover which was racing towards the boundary. Jadeja somehow intercepted the ball with a full-length dive to his left lobbing it straight to Chahal and effecting a simple run-out.

In a match going down the wire, Jadeja (23) and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s (21) sensible knock helped India pip Bangladesh by three wickets in a thrilling Asia Cup final. The win also shattered Bangladesh’s dream of their maiden Asia Cup title while the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side clinched the prestigious title for a record seven times.

Speaking after the match, Jadeja said he wanted to prove himself after staying out of the Indian team for almost 15 months. “I was almost out for 15 months and I wasn’t feeling good. I want to play white-ball cricket, I just wanted to prove myself and improve on my game. You need to prove yourself when you get the opportunity, you need to show you are good enough. I just wanted to play my natural game, try and hit the ball well and win the game for my country”, he said.

India will now turn their focus to their home series against the West Indies team. India will play two Tests, five ODIs and 3 T20Is beginning October 4.

Virat Kohli Has A Special Message For Bangladesh After Asia Cup Final Loss To India

Virat Kohli was rested for the Asia Cup 2018 © AFP

Virat Kohli on Saturday showered praise on the Indian cricket team for their 3-wicket triumph over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final. Virat Kohli also posted a special message for Bangladesh on his official Twitter account. Congratulating them for giving India a tough fight, Virat Kohli wrote, “Congrats to Bangladesh as well for giving a tough fight.” “Great job by the guys to win that tight game last night. @BCCI Seventh Asia Cup title for us. @BCBtigers #AsiaCupFinal #AsiaCup2018Final”, he posted on Twitter.

India retained the Asia Cup title by beating Bangladesh in a last-ball finish at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. In what was a repeat of the 2016 final (played in T20I format), India overhauled the 223-run target set by Bangladesh on the final ball of their innings. Liton Das hit a maiden ODI century for Bangladesh but found no support from the other batsmen. It was a spirited effort from the Bangladesh team in the field but some solid batting from India’s lower order thwarted the Bangladeshis.

Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed steely grit under difficult circumstances. The duo found the going hard initially but grew into their role. Jadeja (23) and Bhuvneshwar (21) strung together a 45-run stand for the sixth wicket to take India to the brink of victory.

India then required six off the last over and one off the final delivery which came as a leg-bye. Kedar Jadhav finished with 23 not out.

Jasprit Bumrah Has Perfect Response For Trolls After Asia Cup 2018 Triumph

Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah gave a befitting reply to his trolls after lifting the 2018 Asia Cup after a nervy 3-wicket win over Bangladesh in Dubai. Jasprit Bumrah posted a sarcastic message for his naysayers with a picture of the Asia Cup trophy on his official Twitter account. “Some people love to use their creativity on the signboards. Hope this one fits there as well!! #Champions #AsiaCup2018 #lionalwaysroars”, he captioned on his social media account.

The post appeared to be a veiled attack in response to a post tweeted by Jaipur Police, who had used his infamous no-ball image on a signboard for a road safety message in 2017. Taking a dig at his no-ball, the advertisement showed him overstepping along with the caption, ‘Don’t cross the line. You know it can be costly.’ Bumrah was evidently left unimpressed with the unwarranted jibe and hence tweeted the same.


The Jaipur Traffic Police did apologise for the tweet but the damage was already done.

Bumrah’s front foot no-ball had given Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman an early life in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which proved costly. Zaman went onto to score a brilliant 114 helping Pakistan post 338/4 wickets after 50 overs. In reply, India were bundled out by Pakistan for 158 runs, winning the final by 180 runs.

However, Bumrah made amends in the next major tournament which was the recently-concluded Asia Cup. He finished with 8 wickets (4 matches) becoming the second highest wicket-taker.