India 148 for 6 (Shafali 42, Harmanpreet 36, Tippoch 3-24) beat Thailand 74 for 9 (Chaiwai 21, Boochatham 21, Deepti 3-7, Gayakwad 2-10) by 74 runs.
Deepti Sharma’s miserly 3 for seven and Shafali Verma’s all-around show ended Thailand’s fairytale run in the Women’s Asia Cup. India’s thumping 74-run win in the first semi-final confirmed their seventh successive Asia Cup final appearance. Despite a middle-order collapse, Thailand managed to play out their entire quota of 20 overs.
Fielding first, Sornnarin Tippoch picked up three wickets as Shafali and Harmanpreet Kaur, back after missing the last two matches due to a niggle, dragged India to a mediocre 148 for 6.
While they were restrictive with the ball, the difference between the two sides became most apparent when Thailand batted against India’s accurate bowling attack. This time, however, Thailand improved on the previous 37 they made against India in the league phase of the competition, finishing on 74 for 9 20 overs.
Shafali capitalizes on missed chances.
Smriti Mandhana looked patchy throughout her brief stay in the middle before she holed out to mid-off, but Shafali continued her excellent form with the bat. She had a few slices of luck but made sure to capitalize. India moved to 47 for 1 in the powerplay, with Shafali and Jemimah Rodrigues solidifying the start.
Shafali struck the ball powerfully straight down the ground and collected most of her boundaries in the long-on region. She hit only six over long-on fielder’s head, apart from the five fours. Shafali, who survived a missed stumping chance, a run-out opportunity, and a dropped catch, finally fell in the tenth over when captain Naruemol Chaiwai grasped on to a good catch at short midwicket off Tippoch’s first ball.
India fails to lift off against restrictive Thailand.
Thailand made sure India never really ran away with the game while batting. Harmanpreet took over from Shafali, hitting 36 off 30 balls with four boundaries. But she saw Rodrigues fall to a catch at long-on for 27 before Tippoch had Richa Ghosh lbw for 2. Harmanpreet fell in the 18th over when Natthakan Chatham completed her catch at the deep midwicket boundary. A ball after dropped her at deep square leg.
India could only manage 31 runs in the last five overs despite having wickets in hand, with Deepti falling off the last ball of the innings.
Miserly Deepti leads Thailand’s collapse.
Deepti began India’s defense and had the Thailand batters clueless from the get-go. She picked up the first three wickets with her flighted off-breaks. Opener Nannapat Koncharoenkai survived in the third over when Shafali dropped a sitter running in from square leg. But a couple of balls later, she corrected herself, snapping up the batter who failed to keep her sweep down.
Deepti then had Chatham caught at deep midwicket in her next over before adding Tippoch’s wicket to her tally, caught behind for five in her last over.
Chaiwat and Nattaya Boochatham added 42 runs for the fifth wicket, but the partnership spanned 11.1 overs, with Thailand adopting a safety-first approach rather than going after the target head-on. Rajeshwari Gayakwad took two wickets. While there was one each for Renuka Singh, Sneh Rana, and Shafali as India strolled to the finish line.