1st T20 | India women lose the plot against Kiwis

Batting let India down as it suffered an 18-run defeat to host New Zealand in the one-off women’s T20 International here on Wednesday.

Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana did not play and her absence was badly felt.

Rookie Yastika Bhatia, who opened in place of Smriti along with young Shafali Verma, scored a run-a-ball 26 (2×4, 1×6).

The opening stand was worth 41 in 6.3 overs and that turned out to be highest for India.

Shafali was not at her best as she contributed just 13 off 14 balls. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who made 12 from 13, also looked off-colour.

S. Meghana, who top-scored for India with a 30-ball 37 (6×4), added 34 with Richa Gosh (12) for the fourth wicket.

Once Meghana was out, there was a batting collapse and the visiting side could only reach 137 for eight in 20 overs.

Earlier, experienced all-rounder Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar scalped two wickets apiece to help India restrict New Zealand to 155 for five after Harmanpreet opted to field after winning the toss.

For New Zealand, captain Sophie Devine (31 off 23 balls) and her opening partner Suzie Bates (36 off 34) scored the bulk of the runs. The duo gave the home side a flying start, adding 60 for the opening wicket.

The scores: New Zealand 155/5 in 20 overs (Suzie Bates 36, Sophie Devine 31, Lea Tahuhu 27, Pooja Vastrakar 2/16, Deepti Sharma 2/26) bt India 137/8 in 20 overs (Sabbhineni Meghana 37, Jess Kerr 2/20, Amelia Kerr 2/25, Hayley Jensenm 2/25). Toss: India. PoM: Lea Tahuhu. NZ won the one-off T20I by 18 runs.

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