The Indian Women’s Cricket Team qualified for the semi-finals as their match against Malaysia was abandoned due to rain played at Pingfield Cricket Field, Hangzhou on 21st September 2023. Due to higher rankings in the T20I rankings, the women’s team made it into the top 4 stage.
Malaysian captain Winfred won the toss and decided to field first. Shafali Varma and Smriti Mandhana showed intent with attacking stroke play putting the Malaysian bowlers under pressure. Varma looked in good touch, taking on the spinners, not allowing them to settle. On the other hand, Smriti Mandhana made batting look easy. Malaysian fielding and catching were not up to the mark as Shafali Varma was given a reprieve.
Mandhana was eventually dismissed with a simple catch to Ainna. The stand-in captain Mandhana put on 57 runs for the opening wicket along with Varma. With the scoreboard reading 60 for 1 in 5.4 overs rain arrived. After a little break, the match was reduced to 15 overs a side. At the end of 6 overs, Indian women made 62 for 1.
Jemimah Rodrigues looked in decent touch keeping the scoreboard ticking making life tough for the Malaysian team. Shafali Varma showed her aggressive intent, not allowing the bowlers to settle, and completed her fifty off 31 deliveries. Varma and Rodrigues looked in great touch keeping the big shots away and increasing the run rate. Shafali Varma was eventually dismissed by Mas Elya for a well-made 67. Shafali and Rodrigues added 86 runs for the 2nd wicket.
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Richa Ghosh came to the crease and put on an excellent display of batting, smashing Mas Elya for 3 fours and 1 six. Jemimah Rodrigues could not complete her half-century. Richa Ghosh and Rodrigues put on unbeaten 30 runs for the 3rd wicket. Indian women posted 173 for 2 in 15 overs. For Malaysian women, Ismail and Elya picked 1 wicket each.
Chasing a revised target of 177 in 15 overs, Malaysia began the innings with a single off the first delivery before rain arrived. The rain did not stop as the match was washed out. Due to higher rankings, the Indian women’s team qualified for the semi-finals.
Shafali Varma scores first half-century in Asian Games history
Shafali Varma scored the first half-century for the Indian women’s cricket team in Asian Games history. She played with an attacking mindset putting the bad deliveries away for big shots.
During her knock, Shafali hit 4 fours and 5 sixes which put the Malaysian bowlers under pressure along with Jemimah Rodrigues not allowing them to settle.