How did India women enter Asian Games semi-final despite a washout in quarter-final vs Malaysia? Full explainer
The India vs Malaysia Asian Games quarterfinal was called off. India, however, advanced to the semi-final. How? Here's the answer.
Rain seems to be following the Indian cricket teams everywhere. After it caused multiple stoppages in the men's Asia Cup, rain abandoned the women's team's debut at the Asian Games. The India vs Malaysia women's cricket qualifier 1 match in Hangzhou was called off due to rain on Thursday. The match was reduced to a 15-overs-a-side contest after rain forced the players off the field when India were 60/1 at 5.4 overs after being invited to bat by Malaysia.
After play resumed, India finished with an imposing 173 for 2, courtesy Shafali Varma (67 off 39 balls), skipper Smriti Mandhana's 27 off 16 balls, and Jemimah Rodrigues' 29-ball-47. Richa Ghosh's 7-ball-21 cameo was like a cherry on top of the cake. It was going to be next to impossible for Malaysia to even think of surpassing the 100-run mark let alone chase the target, which was revised to 177 as per DLS method.
Malaysia played only two deliveries before rain returned again. This time it was much heavier and it was not possible for play to resume. The match was called off. India, however, advanced to the semi-final. But how?
Here's why India advanced to the semi-final of Asian Games despite a washout in the quarterfinal
According to the rules of the Asian Games, if a cricket match is called off or abandoned due to weather-related concerns or any other reason then the team with the higher seeding will advance to the next round. The seedings depend on the ICC rankings. India women are ranked fourth in the latest ICC ODI rankings while Malaysia are 27th. In fact, India are the top seed at the 19th Asian Games courtesy of their ranking in ICC women's cricket. If their semi-final is also washed out then they will again advance to the final.
On a slow deck, Malaysia skipper Winifred Duraisingam elected to field and her team did let her down due to sloppy fielding as they dropped a few catches.
Malaysia's bowling didn't have enough sting to trouble the Indian batters.
The lack of pace in their deliveries forced Shafali to walk down the track in order to meet the ball early. Mandhana, at the other end, got some full-tosses which were dispatched to all corners of the ground.
Mandhana was dismissed after the opening pair got 59 within the Powerplay when she tried to pull a delivery, which was bowled slightly on the fuller side from spinner Mahira Izzati Ismail.
Shafali's innings had five sixes apart from four boundaries and mostly in the region between square leg and deep mid-wicket apart from a straight six that got her to a well-compiled half-century.
Rodrigues also looked in good touch as she got six boundaries and added 86 for the second wicket with Shafali.
Shafali was also hit on her right forearm when she couldn't evade a powerful bowler's back-drive by Rodrigues and needed an urgent taping.
She got a reprieve in the deep off Mas Elysa's bowling but immediately after that was caught plumb in-front.
Richa came in and blasted four boundaries in the 15th and final over of the innings which took India past the 170-run mark.
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