Indian eves thrash Lanka to storm into Asia Cup final

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Bangkok, Dec 1 (IANS) Riding on a fine half-century from Mithali Raj and Ekta Bisht’s 3-8, the Indian women’s cricket team reached the 2016 ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20 International final by thrashing Sri Lanka by 52 runs at the AIT Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

Continuing her brilliant form, Mithali slammed her the 9th T20 International fifty to propel India to a challenging 121/4, after skipper Harmanpreet Kaur elected to bat in their first afternoon game.

In reply, the Lankan eves were restricted to 69/9 in their stipulated 20 overs after Ekta triggered a middle-order collapse to finish with figures of 3-8.

Thursday’s knock of 62 was the 33-year-old Mithali’s second-best individual score. Her innings was laced with half a dozen boundaries.

Smriti Mandhana (21 off 28) and later, Veda Krishnamurthy (21 off 23) came up with useful scores to guide India to their best total of the tournament.

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Sri Lanka, however, surrendered meekly in the must-win semi-final contest. They lost wickets at regular intervals as the Indian bowlers completely dominated the proceedings with a tight line and length.

All-rounder Dilani Manodara (20) offered some resistance by stitching a useful stand worth 23 for the sixth wicket with Hansima Karunaratne but that was not enough to take them anywhere close to India’s target.

Apart from Ekta, Preeti Bose’s (3/14) late strikes put India firmly in the driver’s seat as the Lankans were left a mountain to climb in the end with the rising run-rate.

Brief scores: India 121/4 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 62, Veda Krishnamurthy 21, Smriti Mandhana 21; Sripali Weerakkody 1-18) beat Sri Lanka 69/9 in 20 overs (Dilani Manodara 20; Ekta Bisht 3-8, Preeti Bose 3-14) by 52 runs.

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