India defeated New Zealand by four runs to make it to the semifinals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup but skipper Harmanpreet Kaur wants is expecting better performances from her batters especially after the first 10 overs to ensure the good work is cashed in on. Throughout the tournament, India have been offered a good start with Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma putting up good scores in the first 10 overs, but the inability to make the most of the start by the middle order batters has let them down Also Read - 'Winning a World Cup Always Special': Harmanpreet Kaur on MS Dhoni-Led India's 2011 Triumph
On Thursday, Verma was once again on the attack as she and Taniya Bhatia got India to 80/2 after the first 11 overs, but from there, India women went on to lose the next seven wickets for just 53 runs in the final nine overs with the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma and Kaur herself failing to get going. However, a spin-heavy attack from India helped them to a thrilling four-run win. Also Read - India's Domestic Structure Five-Six Years Behind Australia, England: Harmanpreet Kaur
“It is a great feeling when your team is performing like that. We made the same mistakes; we got a good start in the first 10 overs and we didn’t carry the momentum. “We did bowl well in patches and sometimes we were not up to the mark and have to focus on those areas,” Harmanpreet said after the match. Also Read - 'At 11, Shafali Would Practice Cricket With Under-14 Boys,' Reveals Childhood Coach
Harmanpreet’s comments were echoed by Bhatia, who scored a 25-ball 23 including three boundaries. Open to batting anywhere in the line-up, Bhatia is confident of the batters’ applying themselves better in the coming crunch games.
“We’re in a really positive position. We’ve been playing well ever since the tri-series. I think we’ve got a lot better as a team in working out how to handle and read situations well. It’s just one or two odd games where our batters failed to perform,” she said.
“I’m ready to bat wherever the team wants me to bat. I can bat well up the order and I know I’m capable of scoring runs there. The results are in our favour, but we need to keep up the momentum. If we do that, we will do well and hopefully reach the finals.”
As for their top order, young Verma has been in red-hot form for India women in the World Cup. In three matches, Verma’s had scores of 29, 39 and 46, and has gotten India off the blocks. Both Harmanpreet and Taniya had nothing but promising things to say for the 16-year-old.
“She (Shafali) is giving us good starts and I hope she continues doing that as quick runs at the top are really important to u,” the skipper said.
Meanwhile, Bhatia said this about Verma: I think Shafali is giving us a good start and the rest of us batters will take up responsibility.”