By Avenash Ramzan
A blistering hundred from captain Harmanpreet Kaur and a solid effort from the bowlers handed India victory in the opening match of the Women’s World T20 at Providence, defeating New Zealand by 34 runs on Friday.
Kaur became the third player to score a Women’s World T20 hundred as India piled up 194-5, and despite a classy half-century from Suzie Bates, the Black Ferns fell short at 160-9.
Bates, with a 50-ball 67 (8x4s), and Katie Martin with 39 off 25 balls (8x4s) were the only batters to really get going as New Zealand lost wickets regularly after an opening stand of 52.
Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav picked up 3-33, Dayalan Hemalatha 3-26 and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav had 2-31.
Batting first after winning the toss, India slipped to 40-3 by the sixth over with openers Taniya Bhatia (2) and Smriti Mandhana (9) and Hemalatha (15) all back in the dugout.
Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues then proceeded to rebuild the innings in destructive fashion, adding 134 for the fourth wicket. Rodrigues made 59 off 45 balls (7x4s), but it was Kaur, who led the fightback, smashing eight sixes and seven fours in her 51-ball 103.
In the process, Kaur became the first Indian player to score a Women’s World T20 century.
She was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the innings, and left the field to a standing ovation. Bowling for New Zealand, Lea-Marie Tahuhu took 2-18.
Match two of the Women’s World T20 will take place from 16:00h with three-time champions Australia playing Pakistan, followed by defending champions West Indies clashing with Bangladesh at 20:00h.
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