ICC Women’s World T20 at Providence In­dia’s record to­tal too much for Ki­wis

-Kaur smashes maiden ton

Stabroek News - - SPORT - By Ro­mario Sa­ma­roo Pho­tos by Or­lando Charles

In­dia notched up the high­est to­tal in an In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) Women’s World T20 to hand New Zealand a 34run de­feat at Providence in the tour­na­ment’s opener yes­ter­day.

In­dia raced to 194-5 with their skip­per Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Ro­drigues shar­ing a 134-run stand while New Zealand man­aged only 160-9 as the overs ran out.

In­dia, elect­ing to bat had mixed for­tunes with Taniya Bha­tia ham­mer­ing two bound­aries in the open­ing over only to be bowled by Lea Tahuhu who also picked up the wicket of Sm­riti Mand­hana to leave In­dia strug­gling at 22-2 by the end of the fourth over.

He­malatha Day­alan’s wicket en­sured the White Ferns a thin edge with In­dia re­duced to 40-3 at the end of the power play.

How­ever, that edge was soon swept away as Kaur and Ro­drigues seized con­trol.

Kaur, cap­tain­ing her first ma­jor tour­na­ment was bel­liger­ent in her bat­ting, taking just 51 balls dur­ing her in­nings of 103, only the third cen­tury in a Women’s World T20 con­sist­ing of seven fours and eight mas­sive sixes pre­dom­i­nantly on the leg side and straight down the ground.

The In­dian skip­per was also good be­tween the wick­ets with Ro­drigues who also raised her half cen­tury in 39 balls with a push for two down the ground to see the pair to the high­est fourth-wicket partnership.

New Zealand’s field plac­ing was ex­ploited by the bat­ters as they rat­tled up 134 runs from 76 balls.

Ro­drigues showed good shot-mak­ing and im­pec­ca­ble foot­work un­til she chipped down the wicket to Jess Watkin and was stumped by Anna Peter­son be­hind the stumps for 59 which con­tained seven bound­aries. Tahuhu ended with an im­pres­sive 2-18 de­spite In­dia scor­ing 96 runs in the last eight overs.

The Ki­wis’s chase was off to a rock­ing start with 11 runs com­ing from the first over but the In­dian spin­ners pulled the scor­ing rate back in con­di­tions they were fa­mil­iar with.

Day­alan broke the partnership with the wicket of Peter­son who faintly edged to the wick­et­keeper while leg break bowler, Poonam Ya­dav stran­gled the mid­dle or­der.

Ya­dav ac­counted for So­phie Devine and Watkin in suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies but New Zealand fought back with Suzie Bates muscling the score along.

Bates, favour­ing the sweep shot, clob­bered eight bound­aries in her 50ball 67 but was un­done af­ter she was pre­sented with a low full toss by Arund­hati Reddy only to pick out back­ward point.

Katey Martin was the only other bat­ter who looked set­tled on the wicket, blaz­ing 39 from 25 balls with eight fours while Radha Ya­dav made light work of the bot­tom or­der, striking twice in the fi­nal

over where the Ki­wis needed a vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble 44 runs.

Poonam and Radha Ya­dav fin­ished with three wick­ets each for 33 and 31

runs re­spec­tively.

In­dia will now tackle Pak­istan to­mor­row while New Zealand will look to re­bound against Aus­tralia on Tues­day.

Suzie Bates sweep­ing

Harmanpreet Kaur dur­ing her scin­til­lat­ing in­nings

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