Women's T20 World Cup: India vs New Zealand talking points

With three wins on the trot, India became the first team to enter the semifinals of the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

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India is the first team to make the semifinal of the 2020 edition of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

India is the first team to make the semifinals of the 2020 edition of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.   -  Twitter

 

After registering wins against Australia and Bangladesh, India carried on the momentum as the Harmanpreet-led side became the first team to reach the semifinals of the T20 World Cup.

Playing against New Zealand at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, the eves clinched a thrilling four-run win to top the group and enter the last four stage.

Asked to bat first by White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine, India unleashed an all-out attack on the bowlers. Although Smriti Mandhana was sent back early, Shafali Verma carried on the charge, with Taniya Bhatia at the other end, posting a 50-run stand.

Bhatiya's dismissal saw the middle order disappoint yet again. New Zealand started off strongly as well, but lost wickets at crucial intervals. Amelia Kerr and Hayley Jensen did give some hope to the White Ferns at the death, but an effective last over from Shikha Pandey ensured the Indians became the first to qualify for the semifinals.

Talking points from the game:

Fielding inconsistencies hurt New Zealand

New Zealand isn't a team you would normally associate with poor fielding. But Thursday was different as they dropped Verma twice. First, she was dropped on 25 by Maddy Green at long-on. Exactly 12 balls later, she was dropped again, on 32, and this time it was all the more worse. Lea Tahuhu, one of the most experienced campaigners in the side, made a meal of a dolly at mid-wicket. Deepti Sharma too got a reprieve, when Green missed an opportunity again, this time between the deep square leg and mid-wicket region.

READ | As it happened

India's middle order woes continue

Taniya Bhatia's wicket triggered a middle-order collapse, with the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues disappointing once again. While Jemimah made 10 runs, Harmanpreet is yet to post a double-digit score in this tournament; she has scores of 2, 8 and 1 in the last three matches. In a matter of seven overs and 40 runs, India lost its last five wickets. A shuffle in the batting order would be of some help and this is something coach W. V. Raman will want to address before the team takes on Sri Lanka in Melbourne ahead of the knockout stages.

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Harmanpreet Kaur is yet to reach a double-digit score in the 2020 T20 World Cup.   -  Twitter

 

Shafali in a league of her own

From scoring 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, Verma has come a long way. Time has only polished the stylish right-hander. The 16-year-old fell short on a well-deserved third T20I fifty. But her blazing knock gave India a perfect start.

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Two matches, two POTMs for Shafali!   -  Twitter

India survives Kerr threat

The 19-year-old from Wellington comes from a cricketing family. Starting from her grandfather, to her father, mother and sister, all have been involved with the sport at some point in time. She showed the world what she was capable of, in 2018, when she scored an unbeaten 232 against Ireland, breaking Belinda Clark's 21-year-old record of the highest individual score in women's ODIs.

ALSO READ | Match Report

On Thursday, not only did the all-rounder bag two wickets — that of the dangerous Verma and Veda Krishnamurthy — she also took New Zealand to the brink of victory notching a 19-ball 34 with the bat before Shikha Pandey took care of things in the last over.

Kerr was visibly broken at the end of the match, as her teammates gathered around to console her.

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All-rounder Amelia Kerr is one of New Zealand's star performers.   -  Twitter

 

What’s next for both sides?

India and New Zealand face Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Saturday at the same venue. The India match begins at 9:30 am while the New Zealand match is scheduled for a 5:30 am start.

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