ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: India beat New Zealand, enter semifinals

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Melbourne:  India beat New Zealand by four runs in a thrilling contest in a group match of the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup cricket in Melbourne on Thursday.

With this win, Indian women team led by Harmanpreet Kaur entered into the semifinals.

Defending a modest 133, india restricted the Kiwis at 130 for six thanks to their bowling unit.

Earlier, winning the toss, New Zealand sent India in and the Indian girls started well as they were comfortably placed at 75/2 at the end of the first ten overs. While Smriti Mandhana failed to do much and was sent back to the dugout for 11, Shafali Varma continued her swashbuckling run and along with Taniya Bhatia put up 51-run partnership.

The day once again belonged to 16-year-old Shafali as she hit a 34-ball 46, with two 4s and three 6s. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur failed again as she managed just 1. It was Radha Yadav (14 off 9) and Shikha Pandey (10 off 14) who ensured that the Indian bowlers had something to defend.

The Kiwi batsmen failed to start well and with captain Sophie Devine (14) also failing to keep her rich vein of form going, it was all about keeping it tight for the Indian spinners. With New Zealand requiring 11 runs off the last 4 balls, it looked like a Super Over was in the offing, but the Kiwis fell short by three in the end even though Kerr played a brilliant knock (34* off 19 balls).

With Deepti, Shikha, Rajeshwari, Poonam and Radha adding one wicket each to their tally, the Indian eves sealed their spot in the semi-finals with Shafali declared Player of the Match.

Brief Scores: India 133/8 (Shafali 46; Kerr 2/21); New Zealand 130/6 (Kerr 34*, Shikha 1/21)

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