New Delhi: Another day and another comprehensive performance from Team India as they rattled a meek Thailand side in the first semi-final of the Women’s Asia Cup here at the Sylhet International stadium in Bangladesh.Also Read – LIVE | Jasprit Bumrah Replacement Updates: Suspense Around 15th Member GROWS
The win over Thailand took India to their eighth straight Asia Cup final — four each in ODI and T20 formats. Before 2012, the tournament was a 50-over-a-side affair. The semifinal contest against Thailand was always expected to be a cakewalk for India and it turned out to be so. Also Read – Virat Kohli Passes Batting Tips to Hardik Pandya After India's Loss vs Western Australia XI | WATCH VIDEO
India posted 148 for six after being sent in to bat and then restricted Thailand to 74 for 9 in the lop-sided contest. Chasing the target, Thailand were never in the hunt as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Also Read – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli Fan Stabs Friend in Tamil Nadu After Heated Argument – Report
The Thai women, however, fared much better than their previous outing against India in the league stage, where they were crushed by nine wickets.
In that match, the Indians bundled out Thailand for just 37 runs in 15.1 overs and then chased down the target with consummate ease.
On Thursday, the Thai women gave a better account of themselves with the bat despite being reduced to 21 for 4 in the eighth over.
Deepti Sharma (3/7) did most of the damage with her off-spin, picking up the first three Thai wickets — Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Natthakan Chantham and Sornnarin Tippoch — in consecutive overs.
Medium pacer Renuka Singh (1/6) then cleaned Chanida Sutthiruang as Thailand’s chase fell apart.
Captain Naruemol Chaiwai (21) and Nattaya Boochatham (21) showed some resistance with the bat with a 42-run stand for the fifth wicket but the asking rate was too tall. In fact, they were the only two Thai batters to register double digit scores.
Once the duo departed, the Indian bowlers just ran through Thailand lower-order batting line-up.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/10), Shafali Verma (1/10) and Sneh Rana (1/16) were the other wicket takers for India.
Earlier, invited to bat, Shafali Verma was at her destructive best, top-scoring for India with a 28-ball 42 with the help of five boundaries and one hit over the fence.
Together with vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, Verma shared 38 runs in 4.3 overs before the former hit a low full toss from Phannita Maya straight to Onnicha Kamchomphu at mid on.
Verma continued her attacking batting but was the next batter to depart, miscuing off-spinner Sornnarin Tippoch’s flighted delivery to Thailand skipper Naruemol Chaiwai at short midwicket.
Most of the dismissals were gifts to Thai bowlers as the Indian batters were guilty of giving away their wickets after getting starts.
Jemimah Rodrigues (27) was the next to loft one straight to Rosenan Kanoh at long-on off Thipatcha Putthawong.
Tippoch then had two wickets in successive overs to reduce India to 132 for 5 in the 18th over.
First, she caught wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh plumb in front of the wicket and an over later, got the big wicket of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur as the batter tried to clear the cover boundary.
Harmanpreet, who returned to lead the side after missing out two matches due to a niggle, looked in good nick and laced her 30-ball 36 with four hits to the fence.
Towards the end, Pooja Vastrakar hit a quick 13-ball 17 with the help of a six to take India close to the 150-run mark.
Sornnarin Tippoch was the best bowler for Thailand with figures of 3/24.
India had made three changes from their last match playing eleven with Harmanpreet, Renuka Thakur and Radha Yadav coming in for S Meghana, Meghna Singh and Kiran Navgire.
Inputs from PTI