In a First, Team India Qualifies for Women’s T20 World Cup Final
After a rained-out semifinal against England, Team India has advanced to its maiden T20 World Cup final. India’s undefeated run through the four-match group stage topped England’s 3-1 performance, giving the former the edge.
Both semifinal sides expressed disappointment at the missed game, but India had prepared for the possibility of a semi-final washout from the start of the tournament, said captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
“It is unfortunate not to get a game due to the weather. But that’s how the rules go. In future, it would be nice to have a reserve day. From day one, we knew that we have to win all the games because, if in case we don’t get any play in the semifinals, it will be hard for us,” Kaur said.
Related on The Swaddle:
The advancement to the final is the biggest success for India’s T20 side to date; previously, the team had reached the semifinal stage three times, most recently during the 2018 World Cup, when a loss to England kept them out of the final. And it comes with extra pressure; some suggest a win on Sunday would lead to the formation of a women’s IPL (which would also hopefully herald equal pay for the athletes).
Team India is already eyeing the final, where it will face the winner of the second semifinal between South Africa and the reigning World Cup champs, Australia. But with heavy rain continuing, a washout is looking likely for this match, too. In which case, South Africa’s Proteas would advance to face India in Sunday’s 12:30 PM IST final at the MCG in Melbourne.
“We will look to get a good start in the final as well. Smriti [Mandhana] and I are trying to spend as much time as possible in the nets,” Kaur told Scroll. “We are trying to give our best but unfortunately, it hasn’t come off. But I’m glad that the others have stepped up.”
Others being opener Shafali Verma and spinners Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gaekwad, Radha Yadav, and Deepti Sharma, whose performances in the group stage were crucial to India’s advancement.
“We will keep trying to play better,” Kaur told Scroll. “We will just try to play our best cricket in the final. If we do that we’ll be in a good position. The opponents in the final don’t matter, we have to focus on our game.”