-Kaur smashes maiden ton
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 34-run 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 50-ball 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.