Thanks to a brilliant spell by Poonam Yadav, Indian women stunned Australia by 17 runs in the opening match of the 2020 ICC Women’s World T20 tournament played at Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney on Friday.
Australian captain Meg Lanning won the toss and decided to field first. Smriti Mandhana struggled initially in the first over to time the ball. She was dropped by Strano and then hit 2 lovely boundaries off Ellyse Perry bowling. Shafali Verma looked in fine touch and smashed Megan Schutt for four boundaries. Jess Jonassen was bought into the attack and got the wicket of Smriti Mandhana. The Indian openers added 41 runs in 4.1 overs. Jemimah Rodrigues was given out by the umpire and on review, the decision was overturned as the ball went leg stump. In the next over, Perry struck to get rid of dangerous Shafali Verma for 26. At the end of six overs, Indian women were 46 for 2.
After the power play overs, Jess Jonassen struck again to get the wicket of Harmanpreet Kaur to leave India in trouble at 47 for 3. Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma kept the scoreboard ticking taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries on a slow wicket. Sharma looked in good touch hitting Jess Jonassen for 2 boundaries in the 17th over. Kimmince got the wicket of Rodrigues to end 53 runs to stand for the 4th wicket. Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishna Murthy added 32 unbeaten runs which helped India post 132 for 4 in 20 overs. Deepti remained not out on 49 off 46 balls while Veda Krishna Murthy 9 off 11 balls.
Chasing 133 runs to win, Alyssa Healy looked in great touch taking on Indian bowlers while Beth Mooney struggled to score runs. Shikha Pandey got the breakthrough dismissing Mooney with a good catch by Gayakwad. At the end of six overs, Australia were 33 for 1.
After the power play overs, Lanning and Healy rotated the strike putting pressure on the Indian fielders. Gayakwad got the big wicket of Lanning which spun and into the hands of Taniya Bhatia. Arundhati Reddy was smashed for 15 runs in his first over. After being hit for a six by Healy, Poonam Yadav changed the course of the match dismissing Healy for 51 as Healy reached her fifty off 34 balls. Yadav dismissed Ellyse Perry off the next ball to bring back into the match. Ashleigh Gardner hit some lovely boundaries, but the pressure was on Australian batters. Yadav almost got a hat-trick to dismiss Jonassen dropped by Bhatia. Yadav then got rid of Jonassen to put the Aussies on the backfoot. Gardner tried her best but was not enough as India bowled out the hosts for 115 in 19.5 overs.
Indian women 132 for 4 in 20 overs (Deepti Sharma 49*, Shafali Verma 26, Jonassen 2/24) beat Australian women 115 in 19.5 overs (Ellyse Perry 51, Gardner 34, Poonam Yadav 4/19, Shikha Pandey 3/14) by 17 runs.
Poonam Yadav for her 4 for 19 in 4 overs was awarded the player of the match. India will play their next match against Bangladesh on 24th February at Perth.