Hyderabad: In what was yet another clinical performance from Harmanpreet Kaur and team as India women beat NewZealand by 4 runs in their third league game to qualify for the semi-finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup on Thursday.
India was yet again on the other side of the toss as New Zealand put India into bat. Openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana were in the middle as Smriti Mandhana looked positive with her shots. She hit two boundaries and unfortunately got out bowled by Tahuhu for 11. India’s Wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia came in at 3 and put on a solid 51-run partnership.
The 16-year-old superwoman from India was once again at her best as she smacked the spinners all over the park. Taniya Bhatia on the other end got out for 23. Jemimah Rodrigues was the next one to come in but couldn’t have a good stay. India were down to 80/3. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur walked into bat but couldn’t cause much of a damage as she got out for 1. Shafali Verma then missed out on a well-deserved fifty as she got out for 46. A six from Radha Yadav took India to 133/8.
Chasing 134 to put an end to India’s winning streak, The kiwi women were not off to a good start as the Indian bowlers reduced them to 34/3. Made Green and Statey Martin then steadied the ship with a 43-run partnership as NewZealand showed signs of recovery. India made an immediate comeback at the back of some quality bowling from Rajeshwari Gayakwad & Radha Yadav.
The equation was then down to 34 from 2 overs as India’s leading wicket-taker of the World Cup, Poonam Yadav was handed the ball. Amelia Kerr did not back down and took on Poonam for 18 runs. The final over was given to Shikha Pandey. She held her nerve and took India home by 4 runs as India became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals with 3 wins from 3 games.
Shafali Verma was once again named the Player of the Match for her heroics with the bat as she scored a crucial 46(34). India will now take on Srilanka in their next league game.