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Women's T20 World Cup 2020: India clinch last-ball thriller to enter semi-finals

Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma's 46 ensured India secured a narrow 3-run victory and qualified for the semifinals.
ANALYST
Modified 27 Feb 2020, 16:11 IST
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Scorecard:

India: 133-8 (20 overs)

Shafali Verma 46(34), Taniya Bhatia 23(25); Amelia Kerr 2/21

New Zealand: 130-6 (20 overs)

Amelia Kerr 34*(19), Maddy Green 24(23); Shikha Pandey 1/21


India became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Women's T20 World Cup as they overcame New Zealand's challenge in a match that went right down to the wire.

Chasing a modest total of 134, the White Ferns lost Rachael Priest early. Suzie Bates also looked completely out of form as New Zealand slipped into an early hole.

Maddy Green arrived at the crease to provide some momentum to the New Zealand innings but once skipper Sophie Devine was dismissed, the game seemed to be over. However, 19-year-old Amelia Kerr began to attack the Indian bowlers from the get-go. She scored 34 off 19 balls to take her side close to the finish line.

However, with five runs required off the final ball of the match, Hayley Jensen was run-out which meant India won the game by 3 runs.

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Also see - Live cricket score

Earlier in the day, India were put in to bat and got off to a disastrous start as Smriti Mandhana lost her wicket early. Shafali Verma, however, kept the momentum going and built a strong partnership with wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia.

Just when the duo looked destined to take the game away from the opposition, Bhatia was dismissed by Rosemary Mair and the hard-hitting Verma was dismissed by 19-year-old Amelia Kerr.

India kept losing wickets at regular intervals and Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav were forced to add crucial runs at the death to help their side to a total of 134 in their 20 overs.

Shafali Verma's purple patch continues

India needed a good start in order to set New Zealand a competitive target. Shafali Verma, who has been in great form of late, provided just that. She took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers and did not let them settle into any sort of rhythm. Verma stitched an important partnership with Taniya Bhatia in the powerplay and eventually finished with 46 off 34 balls which included 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Amelia Kerr's all-round efforts bring New Zealand close

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India were cruising to a total in excess of 150 at one stage when Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues were at the crease. However, Amelia Kerr broke the partnership by dismissing the well-set Verma. She also picked up the wicket of Veda Krishnamurthy and ended with impressive figures of 2/21 from her four overs.

Kerr also contributed with the bat. Following the dismissal of Maddy Green, Kerr walked out to bat with New Zealand a long way from victory. She started to play positive cricket and kept rotating the strike and putting away bad balls for boundaries.

With 34 needed off the last two overs, Kerr took Poonam Yadav to the cleaners, adding 18 runs off the penultimate over. The equation eventually boiled down to 9 off 2 balls. Kerr scooped the penultimate ball for a boundary but failed to make contact with the final delivery, meaning her side came up just short.

In the end, it was Shafali Verma's innings that made the difference in the end and she was adjudged the player of the match.

I was happy with the performance and wanted to give a good start at the powerplay. I waited for the loose balls which is my strength and it paid off today. I practised a lot with the boys and I want to thank my dad and all the boys at the practice who helped me train well in batting.
Published 27 Feb 2020, 13:42 IST
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