Asian Games: India, Pakistan through to semis on rain-marred day

Shafali Verma scored 67 off 39 balls to help India to a mammoth total

Shajin Mohanan S
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shafali verma

Shafali Verma during T20 World Cup 2023 © ICC/ Getty

India and Pakistan are through to the semi-final of the Asian Games Women’s Cricket Competition after their quarter finals were abandoned due to rain on Thursday (September 21) at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou. According to the rules set by the Asian Games committe, owing to their higher seeding both the full members went past Malaysia and Indonesia respectively Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues were the stars with the bat for India whereas the second quarter final was called off without a toss.

While India did manage to bat their allotted 15 overs in the rain reduced encounter before Malaysia’s chase was cut short after just two balls, Pakistan couldn’t even take the field against Indonesia owing to the persistent rain.

After being put into bat with Malaysia winning the delayed toss, India took on the Malaysian bowlers even though they struggled against the lack of pace. Smriti Mandhana, leading the side with the regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur serving a two-match ban from the ICC, tried to generate power from the backfoot and pulled a few shots for four.

Shafali, on the other hand, used her brute power to go down the ground and over the leg side. She started with a straight drive that went for four and then whacked Ainna Hamizah Hashim for a huge six over mid-wicket.

Post Mandhana’s dismissal by Mahirah Izzati Ismail in the last over of the power play, rain returned and the players had to walk back to the pavilion for an extended break. Match was reduced to 15 overs per side when play resumed and Shafali was in no mood to relent.

The 19-year-old smashed Nur Dania Syuhada for a six and a four to take her score past the 30-run mark.

At the other end, Rodrigues was also getting into her elements with a few fours. Shafali eventually brought up her fifty off 31 balls with a six and followed it up with another maximum - her fifth in the innings. 

After receiving treatment for her wrist with a full-blooded drive from Rodrigues hitting her, Shafali batted on and was dismissed on 67 off 39 balls. Richa Ghosh punished Mas Elysa for three fours and a six to give India a great finish. Rodrigues remained not out on 47 off 29 balls.

With Malaysia chasing a mammoth target of 177 for a win, Pooja Vastrakar could send down only two deliveries before rain arrived again and that was it for the day.

India will face the winners of quarter final four between Bangladesh and Hong Kong, China on September 24. Pakistan will be up against either Sri Lanka or Thailand on the same day. The other two quarter finals will be played on September 22 at the same venue.

Brief Scores: India 173/2 in 15 overs (Shafali Verma 67, Jemimah Rodrigues 47*; Mas Elyse 1/26) vs Malaysia No result