Sydney, Feb 21: In their bid for an elusive ICC trophy, the Indian women's cricket team made a perfect start to their campaign as they hammered a dominant Australian women's cricket team by 17 runs in their opening game of ICC T20 World Cup at Sydney on Friday (February 21).
Defending a sub-par 133, Indian bowlers put up a sensational display with the ball and restricted the defending champions to 115 in 19.5 overs. Poonam Yadav was the star of the match for India as she returned with impressive bowling figures of 4/19 from her quota of 4 overs.
Pacer Shikha Pandey 3/14 also played her part to perfection as Harmanpreet Kaur and her team stunned the Meg Lanning's Southern Stars.
Australia captain Meg Lanning won the toss and invited Harmanpreet Kaur and Co. to bat first in the tournament opener and the Indians could only post 132/4 in the stipulated 20 overs. Deepti Sharma (49*), Jemimah Rodrigues (26) and Shafali Verma (29) were the only positives for India with the bat as rest of the batters faltered.
Here's how the match between India and Australia panned out:
Harmanpreet Kaur, India captain: Great feeling to win the first game. Knew this track is something where we can do well. Knew if we're able to score 140, our bowlers will be able to defend it, and that's what happened. This track wasn't easy to bat on. Were just looking to score 140. The partnership between Jemi (Jemimah) and Deepti got us there. Poonam was going through some injuries but has made a great comeback. That's what we were expecting. Our team is looking nice. Earlier we were depending on 2-3 players but now we're doing well as a team. If we do well in the tournament we will definitely win the World Cup.
Meg Lanning, Australia captain: They started well and put us under the pump, but our bowlers did a pretty good job to pull things back. At the halfway stage we thought we were in a pretty good position. Just didn't execute with the bat unfortunately. Just the lack of partnerships through the middle. Alyssa went well for a fifty but couldn't get going after that. We came into this match as ready as we could've been. India sort of outplayed us. Will assess this game and see what we can learn. It's not ideal. Would've loved to have won. But we have to get back on the bandwagon pretty quickly.
Tonight’s crowd of 13,432 sets a new record attendance for a women’s cricket match in Australia 🇦🇺👏— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) February 21, 2020
We've got a huge 16 days ahead at the @T20WorldCup!#CmonAussie #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/9GD55JBjC4
Poonam Yadav, Player of the Match: My physio and my teammates supported me a lot during my injury phase. I bowled well against Australia here in the past so I wanted to continue that. This is the third time that I didn't get a hat-trick but I am thankful to my teammates as it is not easy to come back after an injury.
Wicket! Schutt is run out for 1! And It's all over! India have thrashed Australia by 17 runs and start their campaign on a dominant note. Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey bowled exceedingly well as India bundled Australia out for 115 in 19.5 overs.
Wicket! Dangerous Ashleigh Gardner's innings comes to an end for 34. Shikha Pandey takes it off her own ball. Australia - 113/9 in 19.2 overs.
Four! Gardner gets a much-needed boundary for her team and then plays a dot ball. Australia - 112/8 in 19 overs. They need 21 off 6 balls.
Wicket! Kimmince is run out for 4 while attempting a second. Brilliant throw from deep by Reddy and Deepti dismisses the bails. Australia - 108/8 in 18.4 overs.
Four runs conceded by Poonam Yadav from her final over. Australia reach 106/7 in 18 overs. They need 27 off 12 deliveries.
Poonam Yadav 4/19 has turned the game on its head. I'm watching from side-on and it's such a joy watching the flight and change of pace she's putting into each delivery. #AUSvIND— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) February 21, 2020
Lucky! Ashleigh Gardner survives as the slower ball from Poonam Yadav bounced twice before hitting the stumps. The umpire rules in favour of the batter and that's also a No Ball.
Wicket! Another brilliant effort from Taniya Bhatia as she stumps Annabel Sutherland for 2. Shikha Pandey gets another wicket. Australia - 101/7 in 16.3 overs.
100 up for Australia in 16th over. They reach 100/6 in 16 overs. Australia need 33 from 24 overs. All eyes on Ashleigh Gardner as she bats on 27*.
SIX!! Gardner hits Gayakwad way back into the stands. That is exactly what Australia needed from their senior pro.
Australia reach 91/6 in 15 overs.
Australia reach 82/6 in 14 overs. Experienced Ashleigh Gardner still is present into the middle and hosts would be expecting her to finish this run chase for them.
Wicket! Poonam Yadav strikes again. Jess Jonassen (2) edges and Taniya Bhatia takes another fine catch. Australia - 82/6 in 13.5 overs. Poonam Yadav is putting up a show here.
Hat-trick missed! Taniya Bhatia failed to catch the thick edge from Jess Jonassen. Poonam Yadav is denied a hat-trick in the WC.
Wicket! Poonam Yadav clean bowls Elysse Perry for a duck. Brilliant delivery from Poonam and the Aussie all-rounder misses it completely. Australia - 76/5 in 11.4 overs.
Wicket! Poonam Yadav tricks Rachel Haynes (6) with another beauty and Taniya Bhatia effects another brilliant stumping. Australia - 76/4 in 11.3 overs.
Wicket! Poonam Yadav strikes as she takes a brilliant return catch to get rid of dangerous Healy for 51. Australia - 67/3 in 9.5 overs.
SIX!! Alyssa Healy brings up her fifty in style with a maximum. She took just 34 deliveries.
Wicket! Meg Lanning (5) is caught by Taniya Bhatiya behind the stumps and Rajeshwari Gayakwad gets a wicket. The left-arm spinner deceives the Australia captain with her length and Bhatiya takes a sharp catch. Aus - 55/2 in 8.3 overs.
4,1,1,4,4,1! 15 runs leaked by Reddy from her first over as Australia reach 52/1 in 8 overs.
Wicket! Beth Mooney (6) gives a simple catch to Gayakwad and Shikha Pandey gets the first breakthrough. Australia - 32/1 in 5.4 overs.
Lanning in at the fall of Mooney's wicket is telling. Gardner has been No. 3 for a while but clearly they want to have someone in to rotate strike and allow Healy to keep going for it #T20WorldCup— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) February 21, 2020
After 4 overs, Australia reach 25/0. Healy (22*) and Mooney (2*) have given Aussies a decent start in the run chase.
Australia reach 5/0 after 1st over. Smriti Mandhana has hurt her left-shoulder while trying to save a boundary. She's walking out of the field. Harleen Deol comes in as a substitute.
2nd innings! Australian openers Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy are into the middle to begin their run chase of 133 runs. Deepti Sharma to start proceedings with the new ball for India.
7 runs for India from the final over. India reach 132/4 in 20 overs. This is a low total from their standards and especially after the blistering start given by Shafali Verma. Deepti Sharma remains unbeaten on 49 and it was her partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues that ensured the Indians post a decent total. It has been a fine bowling performance from the Aussies.
Jess Jonassen ends her full quota of 4 overs with 2/24. India reach 125/4 in 19 overs.
12 runs came from that over as India reach 112/4 in 17 overs. Deepti Sharma will be on strike in the next over.
Wicket! Jemimah Rodrigues (26) is trapped in front by Kimmince. India lose their 4th wicket at a critical juncture. India - 100/4 in 15.5 overs.
100 comes up for India in the 16th over.
50-run stand between Sharma and Rodrigues. These two will have to stay till the end if India eye a decent total.
After 14 overs, India reach 89/3 against Australia. Rodrigues - 21* and Sharma - 21* are present into the middle with a 42-run partnership. A lot depends on how these two and the remaining batters play the rest of the 6 overs. At least 130 is needed to test Australia batters.
Four! Deepti Sharma sweeps Gardner and Rachel Haynes puts a brilliant effort near the boundary but fails to stop the ball from touching the rope. India - 70/3 after 11 overs.
After 10 overs, India reach 63 for 3. They would have been in a better position had their top-three not thrown their wickets away. Australian eves have comeback strongly after the first five overs.
50 up for India in the 8th over, but they've lost their top-three in quick succession.
Big Wicket! Harmanpreet Kaur (2) goes for a biggie against Jess Jonassen and misses it completely. Alyssa Healy failed to collect the ball for stumping but the ball ricocheted off her pad and hit the stumps. Kaur was way outside the crease. India lose their captain and they are in big trouble with 47/3 in 6.4 overs.
Big wicket! Shafali Verma throws her wicket away for 29 as she gives an easy catch to Sutherland at mid-on. Perry strikes in her second over. India - 43/2 in 5.3 overs.
Not Out! Rodrigues (1) survives as she uses DRS to perfection and reverses the umpire's decision of LBW off Ellyse Perry.
Wicket! Jess Jonassen strikes in her first over as she dismisses Smriti Mandhana LBW for 10. Indian vice-captain departs. India - 41/1 in 4.1 overs.
Shafali Verma starts India's innings on a dominant note as she scores 29 off 16 deliveries.
India XI: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Arundhati Reddy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Annabel Sutherland, Rachael Haynes, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Erin Burns, Molly Strano