Women’s T20 WC: India begin campaign in style; outplay Australia in opener

Sydney: Riding on Player of the Match Poonam Yadav’s sublime control and wrong’uns, India have toppled defending champions Australia by 17 runs to open the T20 World Cup here Friday in front of 13,432 spectators, comfortably a record for a standalone women’s match in Australia.

While Poonam returned the figures of 4/19 off her allotted quota, Shikha Pandey claimed three Australian wickets. India thus successfully defended their below par total of 132 runs. India next face Bangladesh On February 24.

Speaking at the post match presentation Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said,This is a great feeling to win the first game of the tournament. We knew this track is something where we can do well. If we can get to 140, we thought the bowlers can do the job. This track wasn’t easy to bat on – the partnership between Jemi and Deepti was crucial for us. I’m happy we got 130 and that was something with which our bowlers can do well. A bowler like Poonam is someone who leads from the front. We were expecting a great comeback from her. Our team is looking nice, earlier we depended on two-three players.”

Australian captain Meg Lanning said, “They started off well and put us under the pump. At the halfway mark, 133 to chase, we thought we did well. It was consistent bounce, there was a little bit, we thought of playing straight….I think the lack of partnerships in the middle (what went wrong?) India bowled extremely well and thoroughly deserved the win.”

Esarlier, put into bat, India posted a below-par 132 for four in their stipulated 20 overs, riding on Shafali Verma’s 15-ball 29 and an unbeaten 46-ball 49 from Deepti Sharma.

However, the tourists then returned to bowl out the hosts for 115 in 19.5 overs.

Australia were off to a good start to their chase with opener Alyssa Healy (51) making a 35-ball 51 laced with six boundaries and a six to anchor the chase initially.

However, Indian spinners led by Poonam triggered a collapse as Australia suddenly slipped to 82 for six.

Poonam (4/19) snapped four wickets, two in successive deliveries of the 12th over to break the backbone of Australia’s chase.

Ashleigh Gardner (34 off 36) tried her bit but didn’t get any support from the other end.

Earlier, India frittered away a flying start to post 132 for 4 against defending champions Australia at the Sydney Showground stadium here on Friday.

Sent into bat, opener Shafali blasted 29 off 15 balls studded with five fours and a six but Jess Jonassen (2/24) took two wickets to reduce India to 47 for three.

Deepti (49 not out) and Jemimah Rodrigues (26) then added 53 runs to bring up the hundred.

India will next take on Bangladesh at Perth on February 24.

Brief Score:

India: 132 for 4 in 20 overs (Deepti Sharma 49, Shafali 29; Jess Jonaseen 2/24).

Australia: 115 in 19.5 overs (Alyssa Healy 51; Poonam Yadav 4/19).