Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s entertaining hundred, which was also the nation’s first-ever ton in T20Is, laid the foundation for an entertaining victory over New Zealand in the Women’s World T20 2018.

India vs New Zealand: The first T20I event that is not being clubbed along with the men’s tourney needed a fiery start and Harmanpreet ensured it got maximum attention as she smashed eight sixes and seven fours en route her onslaught that lasted 51 balls for 103 runs, which was also the third fastest in women’s T20Is.

However, the platform for the innings was laid by 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues, who walked in to bat in only the second over of India’s innings after Taniya Bhatiya became Lea Tahuhu’s first victim. The youngster also saw the downfall of Smriti Mandhana and Dayalan Hemalatha that reduced the side to 40 for 3 within the Powerplay overs. It needed a cautious knock from thereon, and the pair of Rodrigues and Kaur ensured that India were back in the game with a 134-run partnership.

However, it started sedately, with the skipper snail-pacing her way to 5 off just 13 runs and the teenager settling down to get her eye in. A full toss by Jess Watkin started the carnage, with Harmanpreet smashing the bowler for the first six in the tournament.

Sixes were easy to come by, as Harmanpreet had soon found her momentum, with Rodrigues, playing with maturity, handed most of the strike to the senior player once she had found her groove. Kaur, mostly hitting into the wind, reached 50 in 33 balls and got her ton off only 49 deliveries to ensure that India ended with a competitive 194/5 on the board.

The Kiwi batting order, in reply, needed to get going from the first over itself and though Suzie Bates tried to break the shackles, India unleashed Hemalatha, who was making her T20I debut. She struck in just her third delivery and picked up two more wickets to send the White Ferns on the backfoot.

The former skipper Bates though was on a mission and looked in dangerous form especially against the Indian spinners, swatting them to the leg side with ease. She eventually perished for a well-made 67 off 50 balls, which unfortunately wasn’t enough on the day.

Her wicket effectively ended any chance that the Kiwis would have been harboring of a win, and though Katey Martin struck some late blows, it was all too late. The 34-run win gave India a decent run-rate of +1.70, as they now look forward to the battle with Pakistan on Sunday.

However, the day completely belonged to Harmanpreet as her knock helped India defeat New Zealand for the first time in a T20I game – men’s and women’s combined. Undoubtedly, she has been adjudged the Player of the Match.

Brief Scores: India 194/5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Jemimah Rodrigues 59, Lea Tahuhu 2-18) beat New Zealand 160/9 (Suzie Bates 67, Katey Martin 39, Dayalan Hemalatha 3-26, Poonam Yadav 3-33) by 34 runs.


Comment below! The best comment is in for a surprise 😉