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ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020: India hold nerve to beat New Zealand, enter semifinals

Shafali

Bengaluru, February 27: Indian women entered the semifinals of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, after beating New Zealand by three runs in a nail-biting finish in a Group A tie at Melbourne on Thursday (February 27).

Shafali Verma's 46 was followed by a superlative performance from the bowlers as India posted their third straight win in the tournament to become the first team to make it to the knockout phase.

Put into to bat, India scored a modest 133 for eight with Shafali top-scoring with a 34-ball 46 and Taniya Bhatia chipping in with a 25-ball 23.

They, however, produced a disciplined performance with the ball to restrict New Zealand to 130 for six to seal a last-four spot.

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With this win, India topped Group A, having beaten Australia and Bangladesh in their last two outing.

Brief Scores: India women: 133 for 8 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2/21) bt New Zealand women: 129 for 6 in 20 overs.

Great feeling

Great feeling

"It's a great feeling when your team is performing like that," India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said in the post-match press conference.

"We did the same mistakes, we got a good start in the first 10 overs and we didn't carry the momentum. We did bowl well in patches and some times, we weren't up to the mark and have to focus on those areas," she added.

Under pressure

Under pressure

Defending a below-par total, India introduced spin straight away through Deepti Sharma, but opener Rachel Priest (12) hit her for two boundaries.

However, experienced pacer Shikha Pandey removed Priest in the next over. Shikha and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowlied in tandem to put the Kiwis under pressure throughout.

Falling short

Falling short

Needing 44 off 21 balls, Amelia Kerr (34) blasted four boundaries to accumulate 18 runs in the penultimate over bowled by Poonam Yadav, to bring the equation down to 16 off six balls.

In the final over, Heyley Jensen (11) and Kerr cracked a four each but fell short of the target.

Shafali's fireworks

Shafali's fireworks

Earlier, 16-year-old Shafali provided the fireworks as India scored 49 for one in the powerplay overs.

"I was happy with the performance and wanted to give a good start at the powerplay. I waited for the loose balls which is my strength and it paid off today. I practised a lot with the boys and I want to thank my dad and all the boys at the practice who helped me train well in batting," said Shafali, who was adjudged the Player of the Match.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Thursday, February 27, 2020, 12:38 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 27, 2020
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