India Eye Semis Berth With Ireland Fixture

Javeria Khan

With an eye on semi-final spot, overwhelming favourites India take on Ireland in their penultimate Group B match of the 2018 ICC Women's World T20 at Guyana on Thursday. India are on a roll having convincingly won their first two matches, including against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Skipper Harmanpreet declared open the tournament with her blazing hundred against New Zealand at the Providence, the same venue where India will face Ireland. Ireland have lost both their opening games, the first against Australia by nine wickets, and then a 38-run defeat against Pakistan in the second. Ireland cannot only do their cause a world of good, but play party-poopers for Kaur's team by punching above their weight in this one.

For Pakistan, Sandhu picked up two wickets for eight runs with former captain Sana Mir, Aiman Anwer and Aliya Riaz each chipping in with two wickets each to give Pakistan their first victory in the tournament. In the first game against New Zealand, as the team tried to put up a big total, they sent in the pinch hitters and Raj didn't get to bat.

In bowling, off-break bowler Dyalan Hemalatha and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav shone with 10 wickets among them so far, and the seamers will look to get going in the coming games.

While Kaur herself - having scored a century against New Zealand in the opening game - and Mithali Raj - having scored a match-winning 50 against Pakistan - are in good nick, she would want the likes of Smriti Mandhana to get back to her usual run-scoring form.

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.

The win keeps Pakistan in the qualification hunt although they will have to rely on one of (or both) India and Australia to climb up in the group for any chance of progression.

Watch every match of the ICC Women's World T20 live on Sky Sports Cricket throughout November. India won their first two matches of the tournament against New Zealand and Pakistan respectively and will look to seal a place in the final four with a win today.

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