Asian Games Cricket: India Women vs Bangladesh semi-final - All you need to know
In a rain-marred tournament, Indian women's cricket team will take on Bangladesh in the semi-final of Asian Games 2023.
Following a rain-marred quarterfinal, India will take on Bangladesh in the semifinal of the Asian Games at the ZJUT Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday.
India played their first match of the 19th edition of the Asian Games against Malaysia on Thursday. In a match where rain played spoilsport, India, being seeded higher based on ICC rankings, was declared the winner in the match and qualified for the semifinals.
There are no reserve days in the Asian Games for the cricket matches, which unlike other outdoor events cannot be continued in case of rain.
Bangladesh, who played Hong Kong in the quarterfinal, qualified similarly.
In the quarterfinal, Malaysia won the toss and put India to bat first considering the overcast weather in Hangzhou. Due to rain interruptions, the match was first reduced to 15 overs a side. However, the Indian top order looked rock solid and put up a massive 173 of 2 wickets. Shafali Verma was the standout batter, scoring 67 off 39 balls. Jemimah Rodrigues (47 not out) and stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana (27) played the second fiddles.
Chasing the 174 runs target, Malaysia could play only two balls before the match was called off due to the second spell of rain.
Bangladesh, in the other quarterfinal, qualified for the semifinals without playing a ball as the match was called off due to rain. Captain Nigar Sultana Joty commented after the match, "We are not frustrated, the weather is not in our control. We cannot say anything about it.”
India and Bangladesh will now lock horns against each other in a much-anticipated semifinal on Sunday. India and Bangladesh share a decent rivalry. Hence, it becomes a much-anticipated clash and draws attention from fans across the borders.
India toured Bangladesh in July and won the three-match T20I series 2-1 but the ODI series could not determine the winner, thanks to a tie in the third match.
Why is Harmanpreet Kaur missing the semifinal?
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur received a two-match suspension for a Level 2 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct on July 22. Kaur expressed her frustration over the umpire’s controversial decision in the third ODI by breaking the stumps with her bat.
It was previously the reason Kaur missed India’s first match against Malaysia. Kaur will miss the Bangladesh match too. She can only play in the final of the Asian Games, but for that, India has to pass the Bangladesh test once again. With Kaur unavailable for the national duty, Mandhana took over the charge to lead the team in the quadrennial event.
All the three T20 matches that have happened in the recent past between these two sides have been low-scoring thrillers, the most notable amongst them was the second T20I, where India won by eight runs.
India, put to bat first, could only accumulate 95 in the stipulated 20 overs. It looked like a comfortable victory for the hosts until the second over. The Bangladesh batting lineup collapsed and they were all out for 87 runs. Only captain Nigar Sultana could reach the double-figure mark (38). With this match, India won the series, but Bangladesh came back strongly in the third T20I to beat India by four wickets.
The Indian batters haven’t been tested much in the quarterfinals owing to poor bowling and sloppy fielding by Malaysia. They will eye to put up a strong show against Bangladesh and make it to the final to stand a chance to win the gold medal.
What would happen in case of rain?
With the stage set for a high-octane clash, one can only hope that rain doesn't play spoilsport. But it has been raining in Hangzhou continuously for the past few days. If the rain disrupts the match, India, ranked fourth in the world, will qualify for the final as the top-ranked Asian side. Bangladesh are ranked ninth in the ICC T20 rankings.