Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian women’s cricket team is the first to enter the semifinals of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. After beating Australia and then Bangladesh they silenced New Zealand in a thrilling match. India clinched four-run win to top the group and enter the last four stage.
The Indian team pulled off the games beautifully. Though Smriti Mandhana failed to impress, 16-year-old young opener Shafali Verma carried on the charge. Meanwhile, wicket-keeper batswoman Taniya Bhatia posted a 50-run stand. In the last over, Shikha Pandey ensured the Indians became the first to qualify for the semifinals.
- After winning big against Australia and Bangladesh, Harmanpreet-led Indian team silenced New Zealand and became the first team to reach the semifinals of the T20 World Cup.
Smriti Mandhana was sent back early but Shafali Verma carried on the charge, with Taniya Bhatia at the other end, posting a 50-run stand.
In the last over, Shikha Pandey ensured the Indians became the first to qualify for the semifinals.
Harmanpreet Kaur shone as a Captain but failed to amuse as a cricketer. Also, Jemimah Rodrigues disappointed once again. She made 10 runs and Kaur was out before making a double-digit score.
Taniya Bhatia’s wicket-keeping saves the day
Talking about the match with New Zealand, Bhatia says India has improved in handling pressure now. “In the last 12 to 14 months, we have improved a lot as a unit. We’re in a really positive position. We’ve been playing well ever since the tri-series. I think we’ve got a lot better as a team in working out how to handle and read situations well,” Bhatia said at the post-match press conference.
“The results are in our favour, but we need to keep up the momentum. If we do that, we will do well and hopefully we can win the final,” Bhatia added.
“In the last 12 to 14 months, we have improved a lot as a unit. We’re in a really positive position.”
Also Read: Shafali Verma: India’s Youngest Shining Star Of Cricket
An optimistic Bhatia further said, “We’re playing well, it’s just one or two odd games where our batters failed to perform. Shafali is giving us a good start and the rest of us batters will take up responsibility.”
Bhatia said she is open to bat at any position for the team’s cause. “I can bat well up the order and I know I’m capable of scoring runs there,” she said.
Shafali Verma, the Star
Did you know Verma scored 128 off 56 balls, the third-highest score in women’s T20 for Haryana against Nagaland in the domestic senior T20 competition in February 2019? Her blazing knock might have been a little off today as she scored 34 of 46 balls, but because of this youngster India today sits at the top of their Group A with six points from three matches.
No player has ever scored more runs at a higher strike rate at a single Women's #T20WorldCup than Shafali Verma in 2020 (114 runs at 172.72)
Superstar 🤩#INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/l9SWDWUP5c
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 27, 2020
She smashed back-to-back sixes with the same aggression as she batted in her first two games.
India will face off Sri Lanka in its last Group A game on Saturday.
Feature Image Credit: BCCIWomen / Twitter