Shafali Verma starred with 47 and along with Radha Yadav's 4/23, India won by seven wickets against Sri Lanka in the ICC Women's World Cup clash at the Junction Oval in Melbourne to finish the league stages unbeaten. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Indian women's cricket team are on a roll in the ongoing ICC Women's World T20. It is little surprise that they have become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament. Their performances against Australia, Bangladesh and recently against New Zealand suggest that they are playing to a blueprint. Shafali Verma, the 16-year-old opener who is already causing some waves in Australia, has been the prime aggressor at the top and she has been the X-factor in the Indian team. Apart from Verma, it is the trial by the Indian spinners that have caught everyone off guard. Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav have been in top form. All other teams have struggled to cope with Poonam Yadav's slowness and guile while Deepti Sharma has been accurate.
Deepti Sharma slog sweeps a four to deep backward square leg and India have ended the league stage undefeated. They thrash Sri Lanka by seven wickets and they head into the semi-final absolutely high on confidence.
Athapaththu drops Jemimah. The fielding has been woeful and India are 109/3 in 14 overs, need five more to win.
Jemimah Rodrigues leans into the drive and finds the gap at deep cover for a lovely boundary. Sri Lanka are just going through the motions as they are now consigned to the wooden spoon relegation clash with Bangladesh. India are 104/3 after 13 overs, needing 10 more runs to win.
Deepti Sharma slogs Kavisha Dilhari to the wide long on fence for a boundary as India come closer to a win. After 12 overs, India are 95/3, need 19 more to win.
WICKET! Terrible way to go. Jemimah set off for a non-existent single to mid on and the throw is at the striker's end. Shafali Verma is a bit too slow in reaching the wicket and she is run-outn for 47. After 10.4 overs, India are 88/3.
Verma employs the shuffle and unsettles the Sri Lanka keeper as she concedes four byes. India are 86/2 after 10 overs.
WICKET! Harmanpreet will be disappointed with that shot. She miscues the lofted shot and goles out to Karunarathna at long on. India are 81/2 after 9.4 overs
Verma shows that she can bat like Rahul Dravid as she rocks back on the backfoot and cuts Kavisha Dilhari to the deep cover fence. India are 74/1 in nine overs
Harmanpreet Kaur is slowly getting back to form. She tackles Athapaththu well by slog sweeping a six and sweeping a boundary to fine leg. At the start of the over, she cuts a short ball to third man. Harmanpreet needs runs under her belt. After eight overs, India 67/1, need 47 off 72 balls.
Shafali Verma is in prime form as she thumps Siriwardene down the ground to long off for a boundary and then mauls a six straight down the ground. She hits another four as India end the powerplay on 49/1 after six overs.
WICKET! Finally, Sri Lanka hang on to a catch. Mandhana mistimes the full ball from Prabodani and the catch is taken at mid on. Mandhana goes for an aggressive 17 and India are 34/1 after 4.4 overs.
Mandhana is assuming the role of the aggressor as she thumps Athapaththu for a boundary to long off. India are coasting at 33/0 after four overs. Just across the Tasman, New Zealand are also 33/0 but in the Test against India where Virat Kohli's team have been bowled out for 242.
Verma gets another life as Sandeepani drops her again. Smriti Mandhana responds with two fours as India are 27/0 after three overs.
DROPPED! That will be costly for Sri Lanka. Shafali Verma got a leding edge to cover but the fielder was unsighted by the leaping fielder in front of her and she drops the catch. To add insult to injury, Verma hits another boundary and manages to get another lofted shot over the fielder. India are 16/0 after two overs.
Shafali Verma gets going with a boundary off Udeshika Prabodani and she is looking in great form already. India are 6/0 after the first over.
Sri Lanka end in style as Kavisha Dilhari thumps Shikha Pandey to the long on fence and they have ended on 113/9 after 20 overs. India need to bat really well.
WICKET! Poonam Yadav gets a wicket on her final ball. Flighted delivery on leg stump and bowled at 39 mph, Nilakshi de Silva mistimes the sweep and is caught by Harmanpreet Kaur. Sri Lanka are 104/8 after 19 overs.
Kavisha Dilhari rotates the stirke and Sri Lanka are 99/7 after 18 overs. Can India take the remaining wickets quickly?
Good over for Sri Lanka as Shikha Pandey concedes a boundary off Kavisha Dilhari. After 17 overs, Sri Lanka are 93/7.
WICKET! Radha Yadav takes her fourth wicket and Anushka Sanjeevani for 1. It was more forearm before wicket. The ball was that loopy and slow. Sri Lanka are 80/7 in the 16th over.
WICKET! Sri Lanka are collapsing like a pack of cards here. Shashikala Siriwardene falls and Rajeshwari Gayakwad takes her second wicket. Sri Lanka are 78/6 in the 15th over.
WICKET! That is a superb catch from Veda Krishnamurthy. Karunarathna lofts Radha Yadav to long on but Veda settles underneath it and just manages to keep her balance to take the catch. Sri Lanka are 75/5 after 13.4 overs.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad drops Karunaratne but it was a tough chance. Shashikala Siriwardene thumps a four down the ground for a boundary and Sri Lanka are 73/4 after 13 overs.
Hansima Karunaratne and Shashikala Siriwardene are the last recognised pair as Sri Lanka aim to reach a big score. After 12 overs, Sri Lanka are 66/4.
WICKET! Sri Lanka stuble even further. Hasini Madhushikha tries to steer a flatter delivery from Radha Yadav but ends up getting an edge to Taniya Bhatia. Sri Lanka are 58/4 after 10.3 overs.
WICKET! That is a massive blow for Sri Lanka. The skipper had hit a six off the previous ball and she tries a repeat of a short ball from Radha Yadav, instead, she holes out to long leg for 33. Sri Lanka are 48/3 in the ninth over
WICKET! The partnership has been nipped in the bud. Flatter delivery outside off and drifting away, Madavi looks to work it to the leg side by shuffling but ends up dragging the ball back onto the stumps. Sri Lanka are 42/2 in the eighth over.
Poonam Yadav is into the attack but Madavi greets her with a cut shot to the deep extra cover fence. Sri Lanka are gaining confidence as they reach 42/1 in seven overs.
The partnership between Athapaththu and Madavi is looking good. Sri Lanka need their skipper to bat on if they are to reach a good total on this sluggish deck. After six overs, Sri Lanka are 35/1.
Athapaththu continues her great form as she finds the boundary of Rajeshwari Gayakwad. After five overs, Sri Lanka are 32/1
Harshitha Madavi gets going with a four but Chamari Athapaththu lofts Shikha Pandey over long off for her third boundary. After four overs, Sri Lanka are 25/1.
Athapaththu is in fine form as she lofts Shikha Pandey over long on for a boundary. However, Deepti Sharma takes the wicket of Umasha Thimeshani as the bowler mistimes the lofted shot to backward point. Sri Lanka are 12/1 after 2.1 overs.
Athapaththu gets going with a sweep to fine leg off Deepti Sharma. Sri Lanka are 6/0 after the first over.
Chamari Aththapathu has an average of 50 in Australia. The Sri Lanka skipper will be wanting to put up a great show again. Deepti Sharma will open the bowling.
Here are the playing XIs of both sides
Sri Lanka Women: Chamari Athapaththu(c), Umesha Thimashini, Hasini Perera, Hansima Karunaratne, Shashikala Siriwardene(w), Harshitha Madavi, Anushka Sanjeewani, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Sathya Sandeepani, Udeshika Prabodhani
India Women: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Taniya Bhatia(w), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Sri Lanka have chosen to bat and India are unchanged. Sri Lanka have made one change with Achini Kulasuriya out. Sathya Sandeepani, a bowling all-rounder is included.
A warm welcome to the final group clash for the Indian cricket team in the ICC Women's World T20 before the semi-final. They take on Sri Lanka at the Junction Oval. In the first match, New Zealand were staring down the barrel by being bowled out for 91 but they fought back brilliantly and dismissed Bangladesh for 74 to win by 17 runs. Thus, the clash between Australia and New Zealand will be a virtual shoot-out for the second spot.