India eves qualify for ICC World Twenty20 2014
India women cricket team has qualified for the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014 after beating host Sri Lanka by nine wickets.
After opting to bat first, Sri Lanka posted 100 for eight in its 20 overs. Sri Lanka was well served by a 42-run third wicket stand between Chamari Atapattu (28) and skipper Shashikala Siriwardena (23).
But thereafter the innings lost momentum, and Sri Lanka lost four wickets off four balls in the final over of the innings. Ekta Bisht picked up the wickets of Dilani Manodara, Yasoda Mendis and Eshani Kaushalya to get a hat-trick, while also effecting two run outs.
Bisht, with figures of three for 16 was the best bowler on view for India.
In its reply, India chased down the target with 32 balls and nine wickets to spare.
Openers Sulakshna Naik and Poonam Raut added 38 runs in four overs. Thereafter Raut, who was unbeaten on 45 off 40 balls with five boundaries added an unbroken 64 runs for the second wicket with skipper Mithali Raj to lead the side to a win.
The India captain was pleased to have won the match, in spite of the team's performance in the group stage: "It's a relief because in the league stage, we lost all our games, so it was definitely disappointing. It really needed a match like this to get the team back into confidence."
Raj admitted that the team has some improvements to make: "I think our middle order it is definitely a concern. Even the bowling attack, considering the wickets were helping the spinners was disappointing. The Indian team has always produced quality spinners, so it was all the more disappointing to see that the spinners could not penetrate much."
Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardena said her side had tried to focus on the cricket, and not on the qualification opportunity: "We wanted to play this as a normal game, we didn't want to think about whether we are qualifying or not for the next World Twenty20. We just wanted to play good cricket, just like it was another match. Today also we had a good start, but in the end, we couldn't make the 20 extra runs as 100 is not enough in a pitch like this. Our bowlers also didn't do as well as I expected, so it's a bad day again."