Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur leads from front to secure a crushing win over New Zealand on the opening day!
Harmanpreet Kaur scored an extra-ordinary century to take India off to a winning start at the opening match of ICC Women’s World T20. After winning the toss and electing to bat first the Indians managed to score a mammoth 194 runs. The Indians defeated New Zealanders by a margin of 34 runs thus winning this crucial fixture and strengthening their foothold in the tournament. Debutant Hemalatha and Poonam Yadav starred with the ball picking up 3 wickets each to ensure that Indians defended the total easily.
The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup got underway to a blistering start when Indian opener Taniya Bhatia scored a boundary of the very first ball. However, the joy of the Indian team was shortlived when Lea Tahuhu struck off her first ball of the World T20 to send Taniya back to the hut. The White Ferns came very close to pick 2 quick wickets of both Rodrigues and Mandhana where both were not adjudged LBW but the replays suggested otherwise. Satterthwaite for some reason did not take the DRS reviews which could have had the Indian team in further trouble.
However, Jensen pulled up a blinder off the bowling of Tahuhu dismissing the dangerous Mandhana for just 2 with India struggling at 22/2 in 3.5 overs. Debutant Hemalatha joined Rodrigues and the duo tried to be aggressive especially the debutant but perished for a quickfire 15 in 7 balls with India now at 40/3 in sixth over. Skipper Harmanpreet then joined Rodrigues and the pair put on a match-winning 134 runs for the 4th wicket in just 74 deliveries.
Harmanpreet was watchful for the first few deliveries before she unleashed her aggression on Watkins hitting her for 2 sixes in the same over with India on 76/3 at halfway stage. The Indians reached 100 in the 14th over with Harmanpreet smashing her counterpart Satterthwaite to 2 sixers and a boundary again in the same over. This was also the first 50 plus partnership by India against New Zealand in T20s. The skipper brought up her half century in just 33 deliveries putting India in a strong position. She was well supported by young Jemimah who scored 59 in 45 balls. Jemimah was at her supportive best playing a crucial role and letting Harmanpreet express herself in the innings. The 100 partnership was brought in only 52 balls. The Indian skipper was almost unstoppable today smashing a breathtaking 103 runs in only 51 balls at a strike rate of 202. She brought up her century in the last over before she was dismissed off the bowling of Sophie Devine. The Indians managed to score 194 runs in their allocated 20 overs getting off their campaign to an excellent start thus compelling the New Zealanders to chase a record target in Women’s World T20.
The White Ferns got off to a good start with the openers putting on 52 in 6.3 overs before Hemalatha struck to break the partnership. The number 1 ranked Suzie Bates was aggressive right from the start. She along with Peterson brought up the 50 partnership in just 6 overs making full use of the Powerplay. Experienced Sophie Devine joined Bates but the partnership could not last long as Poonam Yadav struck twice in the same over to let New Zealand struggling at 74/3 at the end of 10 overs.
Suzie Bates however continued her batting with full aggression bringing up her 50 in just 38 balls and also becoming the highest run scorer in Women’s World T20I cricket. However she kept on losing partners at the other end with skipper Satterthwaite scoring only 3 runs in 9 balls with the score on 93 for loss of 4 wickets. With 99 runs needed in last 7 overs, the time was running out for the White Ferns and Suzie Bates looped a simple catch to Deepti Sharma of the bowling of Arundhati Reddy hampering their chances of coming close to the Indian total. She made 67 in 50 balls and her innings included 8 fours. However, they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and in the end fell short by 34 runs. Katey Martin played a fighting knock of 39 of 25 balls but all in vain. New Zealand could manage 160 for loss of 9 wickets in their 20 overs.
Hemalatha was the star with the ball picking up 3 wickets for 25 runs in her allocated 4 overs. Poonam Yadav too picked up 3 wickets by conceding 33 runs. Radha Yadav too picked up 2 wickets in the last 2 balls of the innings ending with 2/31 in her 4 overs. A win in the first and crucial encounter in Group B will go a long way for India to secure a spot in the semi finals. The Indians will now take on Pakistan on Sunday at the same venue. New Zealand will now face Australia in their next match on 14th of November.