The Indian Women Cricket Team started off the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with a stunning victory in the inaugural match today against defending champions Australia. The first game between the group A contenders at the Spotless Stadium in Sydney saw India successfully defending their total of 132. The hosts batting order were wiped out by 115 runs, and the stars of the spectacular victory are Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey, who picked up four and three wickets respectively.
Winning the toss, Aussie captain Meg Lanning opted to field first, as openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana started the first innings. While Mandhana didn’t impress after just scorting 10 runs, Verma pulled off a quick 15-ball-29, before losing her wicket against Ellyse Perry.
It was a bad day in the office for Harmanpreet Kaur. The Women in Blue skipper disappointed after leaving the pitch with only 2 runs. The young sensation Jemimah Rodrigues built up a slow 26.
India’s scorecard gained its pace with Deepti Sharma. The superstar all rounder put up a stunning score of 49 runs from 46 balls, with three boundaries. Veda Krishnamurthy pulled off the end with Sharma, both keeping their strikes till the end.
The Aussie Women started the chase with a stormy half century from Alyssa Healy. The 29 year old wicket keeper batsman scored her ninth T20I fifty, scoring 51-off-35 with six fours and one six. However, other than an impressive effort of 34 from Ashleigh Gardner, the rest of the Aussie batting lineup failed to secure double digit scores against a dominating duo of Yadav and Pandey.
Poonam Yadav, the player of the match started her four wicket haul with Healy, followed by Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry and Jess Jonassen. Pandey on the other hand, picked off Gardner, Beth Mooney and Annabel Sutherland.
Yadav, who’s return to the 22 yards after an injury proved very fruitful for the squad. “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,” the 28 year old said in the post match interview.
Along with praise from the fans, commendation also came from captain Kaur. Oozing with confidence before the start of the tournament, the 30 year old expected nothing less from Yadav. “A bowler like Poonam is someone who leads from the front. We were expecting a great comeback from her. Our team is looking nice, earlier we depended on two-three players,” Kaur told reporters.
With two clean points from the match, India is now leading Group A. Their next match is against Bangladesh on 24th February at the at the WACA Ground in Perth.