Indian eves crush Lanka, qualify for semi-finals

Basseterre: Off-spinner Diana David wreaked havoc as India crushed Sri Lanka by 71 runs in a lop-sided Group B encounter to enter the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup for Women here on Monday.

After skipper Jhulan Goswami opted to bat first, India rode on twin half-centuries from opener Sulakshana Naik (59 off 54 balls) and Mithali Raj (52 not out off 39 balls) to post a commanding 144 for three in their allotted 20 overs.

Defending the total, Diana mowed down the Lankan top order and the islanders could manage only 73 runs for nine wicket with just two batters -- Deepika Rasangika (31 not out) and Eshani Kaushalya (10) -- managing double digit scores.

Diana conceded just 12 runs in her four tidy overs for those four wickets even though it was Sulakshana who was adjudged player of the match.

Indian innings began on a positive note and even though Poonam Raut (12) fell cheaply, the 86 runs added in 10.3 overs by the second wicket partnership of Sulakshana and Mithali laid the perfect foundation for a big total.

Even after Sulakshana departed, Mithali continued milking runs with consummate ease to guide the side past the 140-mark.

Sri Lanka’s chase got off to a poor start with Chamari Atapattu running herself out and with Diana making the inroads, there subsequently was no looking back for India.