India women’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur got her name etched in history when she became the first Indian to slam a hundred in the format as her side defeated New Zealand in the World T20 opener.
It was the Kaur-show at the Providence stadium in Guyana where the right-hander dispatched the bowlers with disdain, clobbering her way to hit eight sixes and seven fours.
India didn’t get to the best of starts with Taniya Bhatia, Smriti Mandhana and Dayalan Hemalatha falling inside six overs to leave the team tottering at 40/3.
But a 134-run stand between Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues helped the innings get back on track as India ended with a huge total of 194/5. Rodrigues seized the opportunity with the bat as she scored 59 runs off 45 balls and played second-fiddle to Kaur, who was in a devastating mood.
New Zealand, in reply, could manage just 160/9, leaving the match by 34 runs. “Good game but we still have a long way to go. (Regarding my batting) I needed to settle down,” Kaur said, as quoted by Deccan Chronicle.
Kaur walked into bat with the fall of Hemalatha’s wicket in the sixth over and joined forces with Rodrigues to arrest the slide. The duo scored runs at a healthy pace as 56 runs came from five overs.
The Moga-born cricketer had earlier bludgeoned her way to a jaw-dropping 171 against Australia in the Women’s World Cup last year and against New Zealand too, the scene was quite the same.
Two sixes off Jess Watkin in the 10th over got her into the groove as she played the main role in India scoring 118 in the last 60 balls. India had scored 76/3 by the end of the 10th over.
Kaur (6), now has hit the most number of sixes in a T20 inning, bettering her own record of five maximums, which she had hit in a match against Sri Lanka in September earlier this year.
New Zealand’s response to the imposing 194/5 set by India began on a bright note wit Suzie Bates (67) and Anna Peterson (14). The former became the highest-run getter in T20Is but couldn’t help the team cross the line as she kept on running out of partners at the other end.
For India, Hemalatha and Poonam Yadav bagged three wickets each.
Brief score: India women 194 for 5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Jemimah Rodrigues 59, Lea Tahuhu 2-18) beat New Zealand women 160 for 9 (Suzie Bates 67, Dayalan Hemalatha 3-26, Poonam Yadav 3-33) by 34 runs.
Image credit- Hindustan Times