Kaur’s maiden T20 ton leads India past New Zealand

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur (right) celebrates on reaching her maiden T20 International century with Jemimah Rodrigues. (Adrian Narine photo)

INDIA created history yesterday as the first team to win a match standalone Women’s World T20 when they beat New Zealand by 34 runs.

In the opening game of the ICC Women’s World T20 World Cup at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, India faced New Zealand and compiled a monstrous total of 194 for 5 with captain Harmanpreet Kaur leading the way with her maiden International T20 century before restricting New Zealand to 160 for 9.

The subcontinent side won the toss and elected to bat, with Taniya Bhatia immediately taking the attack to New Zealand as she carved two fours through the leg-side region.

However, she did not last much longer as she was clean-bowled off the first delivery in the second over; a ripping in-swinger from Lea Tahuhu.

This brought 18-year-old batting sensation Jemimah Rodrigues to the crease. She proved to be an anchor for the Indian innings as Simriti Mandhana and Hemalaya Dayalan soon followed Bhatia back to the hut, dismissed by Tahuhuh and Leigh Kasperek respectively.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined Rodrigues and together they destroyed the New Zealand attack with a partnership of 134 runs off 74 deliveries for the fourth wicket.

Kaur in her 103 carved seven boundaries and hit an astonishing eight maximums while Rodrigues finessed her way to 59 laced with seven fours.

New Zealand’s Jess Watkin ended that partnership when she had Rodrigues stumped in the 18th over; Kaur soon followed – just after bringing up her century. She was caught by Katey Martin off the bowling of Sophie Devine from the penultimate delivery of the innings.

Tahuhu was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 2 for 18 off of 3 overs while Kasperek, Watkin and Devine had a wicket each.

In response, New Zealand started brightly with openers Suzie Bates and Ana Peterson putting on a 52-run opening partnership in just 6 overs before Peterson was out, caught by Bhatia off the bowling of debutant Dayalan.

Devine, Watkin and captain Amy Satterwaite joined Bates but none was able to string together any useful partnerships with ther.

Devine and Watkin were both accounted for by spinner Poonam Yadav for scores of 9 and 0 respectively to put a dent in New Zealand’s chase while Satterwaite fell to Hemelatha for just three runs.

The real killer blow was struck in the 14th over when Arundhati Reddy had Bates caught by Hemalatha for 67 (50 balls, 8×4) to leave New Zealand in dire straits at 98 for 5.

Maddy Green came in but lasted just three deliveries before Hemalatha had her holing out to Deepti Sharma. This brought together Katey Martin and Kasperek who offered some resistance with a 37-run partnership, which ended when Martin fell on the penultimate delivery of the 18th over.

From there it went downhill as New Zealand ended on 160 for 9 with the last two wickets mustering just 13 runs.

Debutant Hemalatha was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 3-26 off 4 overs while Poonam Yadav snared 3-33 (4 overs) with Radha Yadav supporting with 2-31 (4 overs).