Women's World Twenty20: India beat Australia to top Group B

By Mark MitchenerBBC Sport
ICC Women's World Twenty20, Guyana:
India 167-8 (20 overs): Mandhana 83, Kaur 43, Perry 3-16
Australia 119-9 all out (19.4 overs): Perry 39*, Patil 3-15
India won by 48 runs

India finished top of Group B at the Women's World Twenty20 after easing past Australia by 48 runs in their last group game in Guyana.

Both teams had already booked their places in the semi-finals.

Smriti Mandhana (83) and Harmanpreet Kaur (43) helped India post 167-8, and Australia never looked likely to beat that as they were bowled out for 119.

Alyssa Healy was unable to bat for the Australians as she was concussed while fielding.

The incident happened when wicketkeeper Healy and bowler Megan Schutt collided while trying to catch Arundhati Reddy in the penultimate over of India's innings, with Healy struck in the face by Schutt's shoulder and diagnosed with a mild concussion which forced her to leave the field immediately.

Concussion protocols will determine whether Healy can return in time for their semi-final on Thursday, when the Aussies will play the winner of Sunday's final Group A game between West Indies and England.

While they have a competent deputy keeper in her opening partner Beth Mooney, it will be Healy's batting at the top of the order - she averages 78.5 from the first three games - which would be a major loss.

India, meanwhile, will play the losers of that Windies-England game after topping the table with four wins from four.

India turn on the style

India took control early in the match and never surrendered that advantage, although they were indebted to Mandhana and Kaur - who both hit three sixes - with no other player reaching double figures.

Mandhana had lit up England's Super League during the summer but had failed to make a big score for her country in the T20 format since that golden spell in Western Storm colours.

Hitting powerfully down the ground, she dominated a second-wicket stand of 44 with Jemimah Rodrigues, who contributed only six, before captain Kaur arrived and batted with an even more impressive strike rate.

Australia rotated their bowlers in one-over spells to no avail. Having preferred uncapped seamer Tayla Vlaeminck to spinner Georgia Wareham, her main contribution was to take a breathtaking one-handed leaping catch at backward square leg to remove Veda Krishnamurthy.

India may even have been disappointed to post only the third highest score of the tournament after Mandhana and Kaur fell in the closing overs.

Having failed to keep India from rotating the strike, Australia were then themselves strangled by a spin-heavy India attack which only sent down two overs of seam.

Without the injured Healy, who has been their catalyst at the top of the order, several batters started well but perished as India profited from bowling their slow spin outside off stump to a packed off-side field.

Only Ellyse Perry - who had a good all-round game, making an unbeaten 39 from 28 deliveries to add to her 3-16 with the ball - looked like hitting the boundaries which Australia needed to keep up with the rate.

Alyssa Healy is injured
Of greater concern to Australia than losing the match will be the concussion suffered by Alyssa Healy

'We've got a lot to work on' - what they said

India opener Smriti Mandhana: "I was quite relieved as in the first three matches I was getting starts but not able to convert it. The way we fielded and bowled was the best out of the last four matches."

Australia captain Meg Lanning: "We'll have to look after Alyssa and hopefully she'll be all right for the semi-final. Today showed we've got a lot to work on - we'll have to play a lot better to get through the semi-finals."

Ex-England batter Lydia Greenway on BBC Test Match Special: "India have been brilliant in all aspects - batting, bowling, fielding and tactics. Australia played the extra seamer, but India loaded their team up with spin and it worked. The worry now for Australia is Alyssa Healy, we don't know how long she'll be out."

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