The Twenty 20 World Cup is nearing its end and we have already witnessed a nail-biting finish in one of the semi-finals. The match between India and New Zealand saw some crucial insights that raised the eyebrows and heartbeats of the fellow cricket enthusiasts.
India edged the semi-finals with a Harmanpreet Kaur special concocted with the Shafali Verma match winning innings at the Oval in Melbourne.
Verma got lucky after she cashed in on two dropped catches to reach 46 off 34. Her whip crack start to the innings set the initial innings to a high. Although the innings faded during the last overs, the scoreboard held enough runs to defend by the magnificent line of bowlers.
Shikha Pandey started off by taking her first wicket of the second innings, that got Suzie Bates and Devine impatient to deliver boundaries. Poonam Yadav was however fined for 18 runs in the 19th over by Amelia Kerr that made the game more intense as it was leading to a nail biting finish.
Hurricane Verma took no time to adjust to the slower Junction Oval surface from the pace of Perth. She took the half volley off to boundaries straight for six followed by another maximum at a generous full toss. The other end was not well supported till Taniya Bhatia stood strong before walking back to pavilion with a square cut off by Rosemary Mair that was grabbed by Kerr. The dropped chances made the innings of Verma more ragged before she was caught at the long-off. Jemiah Rodrigues front edged full toss provoked Kaur to hit the ball straight to the hands of Leigh Kasperek.
Kerr restricts India
The early overs of New Zealand made them lodge on spin as Devine called upon her seven bowlers to slow down India. The best of them was Kerr who surprised the opposition by her variations with skills and strategy. Her focus got her the wickets of Verma and Veda Krishnamurthy.
India started off strong with just one wicket down at 68 but were reduced to 111 for 7 before Pandey and Radha Yadav struggled between the stumps to gather some crucial runs. The team was restricted to 134 despite a strong start and New Zealand were probably confident about its chances of winning.
Slow bowling, fast exits
Indian spinners started off really slow with the pace and that helped India to put pressure on the openers to score quickly yet efficiently. The top order of New Zealand played presumptuously.
Bates was left impatient to attack and made a pre-movement across the stumps. Deepti Sharma took advantage of the split second and NZ lost their third wicket. Devine mistimed the full toss by Poonam and was caught at the crucial stage after churning out the best of her game in the tournament.
New Zealand suffocated
Maddy Green and Katey Martin stood strong but the continuous surge of the required run rate added excitement to the much anticipated Indian crowd as they were inching close to the victory.
Fifty seven off 35 balls were required when Green decided to attack as it was the only option left. After Green walked back, Kerr delivered some magnificent insights to her batting skills as she stole 18 runs in the 19th and final over of Poonam. This gave jitters to the crowd as the match entered its final over. Exceptionally bowled by Pandey, India finished it off in style and made way to the finals.