WT20: Indian eves reach World T20 semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/t/t20_women.jpg' class='caption'> India booked a semi-final berth in the women's World Twenty20 after humbling Sri Lanka by five wickets in a rain-marred pool B match on Monday.

Updated: June 16, 2009 07:50 IST
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India booked a semi-final berth in the women's World Twenty20 after humbling Sri Lanka by five wickets in a rain-marred pool B match, here on Monday.

Punam Raut hit a patient 30 off 40 balls, while Mithali Raj cracked an unbeaten 22-ball 32 to help India romp home after restricting the Lankans to a paltry 94 for six in a rain-reduced 18 overs per side match at County Ground here.

Chasing 95 to win, openers Punam and Anjum Chopra (11) made a watchful start scoring 27 in the first seven overs before the latter was sent packing by Udeshika Prabodani.

India soon suffered a mini-collapse, losing Sulakshana Naik (2) and Rumeli Dhar (0) and were reduced to 39 for 3 in 10 overs.

Mithali then joined Punam and clubbed two fours to share a crucial 24-run stand between them before the opener run herself out in the 13th over.

However, Mithali continued and stitched 19 runs with Reema Molhotra first and later forged an unbeaten 16 run stand with Amita Sharma to score the winning runs with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, fast bowler Rumeli and left-arm spinner Gouhar Sultana bagged two wickets each to help India restrict a hapless Sri Lanka after skipper Chamari Polgampola elected to bat first.

Sri Lanka could not recover from the early burst by Rumeli and lost half of their side in 13 overs before Deepika Rasangika provided some respectability to their total with a 20-ball 24.

Rumeli ripped through the Lankan top order and picked up two crucial wickets -- Inoka Galagedara (6) and Hiruka Fernando (2) -- giving away just four runs.

However, it was fellow pacer Amita who began the rot removing skipper Chamari Polgampola (2) in the third over.

Chamari Atapaththu (16) and Dilani Manodara (17) tired to steady the ship, putting up 21 runs as Sri Lanka crawled to 34 at the halfway mark but Sultana soon got rid off Chamari in the next over.

Sultana struck again in her next over removing Eshani Kaushalya (7) to reduce them to 55 for five in 13 overs.

Monodara also didn't last long and perished in the 16th over and if it hadn't been for Rasangika's late burst, things might have been more embarrassing for the Lankans.

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