India sauntered to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games with a 100-run win over Barbados in Birmingham. It was a must-win game for India, and the players stepped up every time they were pushed into a spot of bother by the opponents. They will now take on the winners of the England vs New Zealand fixture for a place in the final.

Despite losing Smriti Mandhan quite early in the game, India got off to a breezy start, thanks to an entertaining 71-run stand between Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues. There was no going back for Shafali once she managed her first boundary of the innings with an emphatic cut through the cover.

Shafali Counterattack And Rodrigues Finishes Off

In the next over, she went after everything thrown her way by Shanika Bruce, who was guilty of pitching it up way too fuller and wider. Shafali had enough time and space to free up her powerful arms, and she drilled two successive boundaries towards the off side.

Shafali’s most audacious shot of the innings came just after the Powerplay, when she cleared her front leg and flat-batted a shortish delivery over the mid-wicket boundary. The eventful innings came to an abrupt halt in the ninth over after she got run out.

India lost two more wickets in the next four overs before Rodrigues combined with Deepti Sharma to steady the sinking ship. The duo added 70 runs for the fifth-wicket stand to propel India to a competitive total. En route to her 46-ball 56, Rodrigues struck six fours and a six.

Renuka Runs Rampage

It took Renuka Singh only 18 balls to take the sting out of the contest. A fullish in-swinger with just a hint of inward movement uprooted Deandra Dottin’s stumps. She came back and had Hayley Matthews caught at mid-off by Shafali. With two of their most experienced batters, Matthews and Dottin, already back in the hut, Barbados needed something special to sneak out the win here.

Skipper Harmanpreet Singh then showed her astute captaincy by sticking with Renuka for the third straight over – a decision that nearly killed the game. Renuka put end to Kycia Knight’s agony, and followed it with a searing in-swinger that snaked into an acre of space Aaliyah Alleyne left between her bat and pads.

Unlike the game against Australia, where they squandered an advantageous position, the Indian bowlers here kept Barbados in check, and restricted them for a paltry total of 62/8.

https://twitter.com/BCCIWomen/status/1554922451871895553

Featured Image Credit: Renuka Singh/Instagram