India women’s cricket team started their World T20 preparations on an emphatic note as they registered a clinical five-wicket win over England in the T20 tri-series opener at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Friday. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front as she played a brilliant knock of unbeaten 42 following a fine bowling performance from the touring side. Also Read - BCCI Announce India Women Squad For South Africa ODI, T20I Series; Mithali Raj to Lead in ODIs, Harmanpreet Kaur in-Charge of T20I Side
Chasing a tricky total of 148 to win versus England, Harmanpreet took the run chase deep after the Indian top order, including the 16-year-old Shafali Verma (30), Smriti Mandhana(15) and Jemimah Rodrigues (26) – squandered good starts. Also Read - Indian Women's Tour of Australia Postponed to Next Season: Cricket Australia
Veda Krishnamurthy (7) and Taniya Bhatia (11) also failed to stay on the crease as England bowlers struck at regular intervals. Also Read - ICC Announces Full Schedule For 2022 Women's World Cup, India to Open Campaign Against a Qualifier
With six needed off the last over, the 30-year-old Harmanpreet smashed a towering six to take India to 150 for five and end the match in style with three balls to spare. Her innings was studded with five boundaries and a maximum.
Earlier, Indian spinners — Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/19), Deepti Sharma (2/30)and left armer Radha Yadav (1/33) – restricted England to 147 for seven in stipulated 20 overs, while right-arm medium pacer Shikha Pandey (2/33) accounted for two at the Manuka Oval.
Put in to bat, England suffered a top-order batting collapse as openers Amy Jones (1) and Danni Wyatt (4) were dismissed cheaply. Natalie Sciver (20) and Fran Wilson (7) soon followed, leaving England reeling at 59/4 in 10 overs.
Skipper Heather Knight then took charge, hit a brisk half-century to lift England’s total to a competitive score. Her knock of 67 came off 44 balls. Knight’s innings was laced with eight boundaries and two sixes.
Wicketkeeper Tammy Beaumont supported her captain with a 27-ball 37. The duo helped England post a fighting total.
England women: 147 for 7 in 20 overs (Heather Knight 67, Tammy Beaumont 37; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/19) lost by five wickets to India Women: 150 for 5 in 19.3 overs (Harmapreet Kaur 42 not out, Shafali Verma 30; Katherine Brunt 2/33)