New Zealand beat India by 18 Runs in one-off T20I, Lea Tahuhu awarded Player of the Match

India-New Zealand series kick-started on February 9 with a one-off T20I that was played at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown.


India won the toss and elected to field first.

Playing XI

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Sabbhineni Meghana, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Simran Dil Bahadur, Poonam Yadav

New Zealand: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Katey Martin, Lauren Down, Hayley Jensen, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Kerr, Hannah Rowe


New Zealand beat India by 18 Runs in one-off T20I, Lea Tahuhu awarded Player of the Match. PC: ICC/Twitter
New Zealand beat India by 18 Runs in one-off T20I, Lea Tahuhu awarded Player of the Match. PC: ICC/Twitter

First innings: New Zealand 155-5 in 20 overs

Put in to bat first, the White Ferns posted a challenging score of 155-5 in 20 overs, thanks to opening bat Suzie Bates 36 off 34 balls. Bates and her opening partner and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine stitched a 60 run partnership for the first wicket to set a solid foundation. Devine made the most after she was dropped in the very first over of the match by Simran Dil Bahadur of her own bowling. The skipper made India pay as she muscled 31 runs off 23 balls, including two boundaries and as many sixes. Apart from Devine and Bates, Maddy Green and Lea Tahuhu were the other contributors with the bat. Known for her bowling more than her batting, Tahuhu came in at number five and smashed 27 runs off just 14 balls, hitting four boundaries and a six. Green chipped in with a 20-ball 26 and Amelia Kerr mustered 20-ball 17.

For India, Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma picked up two wickets apiece, with Rajeshwari Gayakwad accounting for a solitary wicket. Apart from an ordinary bowling performance, the Indian fielders did not have a good outing in the outfield as they had a few misfields, a missed run-out chance and a missed caught and bowled chance.

Second innings: India 137-8 in 20 overs

Chasing 156 was not going to be easy for India, especially in the absence of their star opening batter Smriti Mandhana. There was no official word on the southpaw’s absence from the one-off T20I at the toss. Yastika Bhatia, another left-handed batter, opening the batting with Shafali Verma. The duo put together 41 runs in 6.3 overs, but fell in quick succession as leg spinner Amelia Kerr sent them packing in the same over. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur failed to impress as she was clean bowled by a peach of a delivery from Jess Kerr, after scoring a 13-ball 12. Sabbhineni Meghana, who came in at number four, was the most successful batter for India as she plundered 37 runs off 30 balls, including half a dozen boundaries. Meghana last featured in an international game in December 2016. She made a solid comeback and gave some hope to the Indian team. However, the target was too big for the Indian batters at the end. For New Zealand, the Kerr sisters wreaked havoc as they scalped a couple of wickets apiece. Hayley Jensen also joined the party with two wickets in her kitty. Lea Tahuhu and Sophie Devine struck with one wicket each.

Player of the Match

New Zealand’s Lea Tahuhu won the player of the match for her match-winning all-round performance. The right-handed batter scored 27 runs off 14 balls and with the ball she picked up 1-27 in her four overs, bowling right-arm seam.

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Brief Scores

New Zealand 155-5 in 20 overs (S Bates 36; P Vastrakar 2-16) beat India 137-8 in 20 overs (S Meghana 37; J Kerr 2-20) by 18 runs

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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