In­dia beat New Zealand in Women’s World T20 opener

Gulf Times Sport - - CRICKET -

Acom­bined ef­fort helped In­dia thrash New Zealand by 34 runs in the open­ing match of the Women’s World T20 at the Prov­i­dence Sta­dium here yes­ter­day.

Opt­ing to bat, batswomen did a fan­tas­tic job es­pe­cially cen­tu­rion Har­man­preet Kaur (103) and Jemimah Ro­drigues (59), be­fore the In­dian bowlers kept the pres­sure right from the first ball and re­stricted their op­po­nents to 160 for 9 to seal the match.

Chas­ing a mam­moth 195, New Zealand never looked in con­tention as they lost wick­ets at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

Apart from open­ing stand of 52 runs be­tween Suzie Bates (67) and Anna Pe­tersen (14), no other player rose to the oc­ca­sion and failed to build part­ner­ships. Bates and Katey Mar­tin (39) were the high­est scor­ers for New Zealand.

For In­dia, Day­alan He­malatha and Poonam Ya­dav took three wick­ets each.

Ear­lier, In­dia rode on a bel­liger­ent maiden T20 in­ter­na­tional cen­tury from skip­per Har­man­preet Kaur to post the high­est ever to­tal of 194 for 5.

Kaur belted a 51-ball 103, laced with seven bound­aries and eight sixes, and more im­por­tantly raised a record 134-run fourth wicket stand with the young Jemimah Ro­drigues (59 off 45 balls; seven fours) to bail In­dia out of a trou­bled start.

Elect­ing to bat af­ter win­ning the toss, In­dia found them­selves in a vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion, tot­ter­ing at 40 for 3 by the sixth over, af­ter los­ing the top three batswomen — Taniya Bha­tia (9), Sm­riti Mand­hana (2) and Day­alan He­malatha (15), cheaply.

Mak­ing her first ap­pear­ance in a World T20, Jemimah con­trolled her nerves play­ing the per­fect sec­ond fid­dle to the flu­ent Kaur, who was at her ag­gres­sive best through­out the in­nings.

Kaur raced to a 33-ball 50 and in no time con­verted that to a mag­nif­i­cent cen­tury off only 49 de­liv­er­ies.

Sens­ing the ur­gency of putting up a big to­tal, Jemimah, to­wards the end also pressed on the ac­cel­er­a­tor to get to her half cen­tury off 40 balls.

New Zealand man­aged to get rid of the part­ner­ship with Jess Watkin get­ting the back of Jemimah and So­phie Devine dis­miss­ing Kaur, but by then the dam­age was done as In­dia walked back with the high­est ever to­tal in a World T20 tie.

Har­man­preet Kaur scored 103 to be­come only the third woman to hit a cen­tury in World T20.

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