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India, Pakistan advance to Asian Games semis after washouts

Shafali, Rodrigues hit top gear against Malaysia before rain arrives; Pakistan-Indonesia quarter-final washed out without a ball being bowled

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Both India and Pakistan advanced to the semis by virtue of being the higher seeds  •  Getty Images

Both India and Pakistan advanced to the semis by virtue of being the higher seeds  •  Getty Images

India and Pakistan have advanced to the Asian Games semi-finals in Hangzhou after their respective quarter-finals were abandoned because of rain.
India's rain-hit quarter-final against Malaysia was reduced to 15-overs-a-side in which they amassed 173 for 2 riding largely on a 39-ball 67 from Shafali Verma and an unbeaten 29-ball 47 by Jemimah Rodrigues. Rain arrived just two balls into Malaysia's steep chase forcing the game to be called off. The second quarter-final between Pakistan and Indonesia was washed out without a ball being bowled.
India and Pakistan advanced to the semi-final on account of having higher seeding than their opponents.
The first quarter-final was a mismatch of epic proportions and Malaysia hardly posed a fight. India flexed their might from ball one after being put into bat with rain looming. Smriti Mandhana's early elegance gave way to Shafali's brutality, and Rodrigues lent her own signature touch to the innings as India blasted 173 for 2, including 113 off 9.2 overs after the rain break.
Richa Ghosh, who wasn't part of the Bangladesh tour, added the finishing touches with 21 not out off just seven deliveries. She hit 18 off those courtesy three fours and a six in the final over off medium pacer Mas Elysa, with the highlight being a bottom-handed shovel inside-out over extra cover off a yorker.
There was brief concern in the Indian camp late in the innings when Shafali was hit on her right forearm at the non-striker's end by Rodrigues' cross-batted swat. She resumed her innings after some treatment from the physio but was out lbw in the same over, the 13th, playing across the line to a straight delivery from Elysa.
Shafali played a power game, time and again moving to the offside to try and access the arc between long-on and deep midwicket where the boundary was only 45 metres. Malaysia didn't help themselves by bowling full tosses and slot balls to Shafali.
India were so dominant that Malaysia could not string together three dot balls. The only bright spot in their performance was Mandhana's dismissal. She was early into a pull and lobbed a leading edge to point off medium pacer Mahirah Ismail in the sixth over. The celebrations were boisterous after the catch was taken, given Mandhana had looked in pristine touch until then, hitting five fours in 15 balls. But any sense of relief Malaysia may have had dissipated as Shafali took charge and ran them ragged along with Rodrigues and Ghosh.
Bangladesh could potentially be India's semi-final opponent if they win their quarter-final against Hong Kong. That will set up a tantalising contest for Mandhana's team (Harmanpreet Kaur will sit out of the game due to a two-match suspension), given the recent history between the two sides. Bangladesh proved they were no pushovers during India's recent tour in July, where they won two matches and tied one across six white-ball games. The series was remembered for a huge controversy over umpiring that boiled over into a nasty exchanges between the teams.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo