When did India play their first Women’s T20I game?

The shortest format of international cricket was introduced quite late compared to one-dayers and test matches. People felt that a game finishing much early is much needed as it is fast-paced overall compared to other formats. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were the first to introduce this format in 2002. It was much loved by the younger generation as it was really exciting to watch.

Rumeli Dhar in action. PC: Getty Images
Rumeli Dhar in action. PC: Getty Images

Soon lots of boards started to adapt to the new format, with boards introducing it in their domestic tournaments. Various international matches are played in this format.

On this day (5th August) in 2006, the Indian Women’s team played their first ever T20I match in their history. It was something fairly new to the Indian players as well as to the Indian audiences. This was also the 3rd ever T20I match played in Women’s cricket. India’s first-ever T20I captain Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to field first.

Since it was the 1st match, every Indian player on the field was making their debut. They got to a perfect start as England lost their captain Charlotte Edwards on the 5th ball itself. Young Indian fast bowler Jhulan Goswami provided India with their first breakthrough. The Indians were on fire while fielding as England lost their first 4 wickets for a total of just 26 runs. Goswami accounted for 2 of those wickets, while the remaining 2 were adjudged run out.

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England’s Jenny Gunn and Sarah Taylor steadied the ship for the hosts as they put up a partnership of 52 runs. In their quota of 20 overs, the English women managed to score 107 runs only. Only 3 batters were able to breach past the 10 runs total, with Jenny Gunn being the top scorer with 38 runs from 52 balls. Jhulan Goswami was the star with the ball as she finished the innings with figures of 4-1-14-2. England lost 5 of their wickets to runouts, whereas Preeti Dimri took 1 wicket.

In reply, India lost their first wicket on the 2nd ball itself, as keeper Sulakshana Naik was caught out on the bowling of Katherine Brunt. India’s skipper walked in at no. 3 to rescue India from the brink of collapse. Captain Raj and opener Rumeli Dhar stitched together a partnership of 87 runs as Mithali Raj got dismissed on 28 off 37. Dhar and Hemlata Kala managed to finish off the match for India. Dhar remained unbeaten on 66 off 69 balls. Dhar managed to hit a total of 6 boundaries in her innings.

The Indian Women’s team has played a total of 170 matches till now and have won more than half of them.

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