After Harmanpreet Kaur set the opening day of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 on fire with India’s highest T20I score — a stunning 103 off just 51 balls — Australia and West Indies posted contrasting, yet comfortable, wins in their opening matches on Friday in Guayana.
Kaur’s knock powered India to a 34-run win against New Zealand in what could prove to be a pivotal result in the group.
In the second game in Friday’s triple-header at the Guyana National Stadium, Australia coasted to a 54-run win against Pakistan. Then, under lights, the Windies responded to a spirited Bangladesh by denying them an upset on the back of searing fast bowling from Deandra Dottin. They beat Bangladesh by 60 runs.
After winning the toss, Australia scored in fits and bursts in their innings: 58 runs off the first six overs, just 50 in the next eight, and 57 off the last six. The top three batters contributed most of the runs, with both openers — Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney — getting 48, and captain Meg Lanning scoring 41. Aliya Riaz, the lone medium pacer in the Pakistan side proved the most frugal, conceding just 25 in her four overs and picking up two wickets.
In the face of disciplined bowling and a rising run rate, Pakistan’s top order failed to get into gear. Only Bismah Mahroof (26) and Umaima Sohail (20) got into double figures, and some late intent from Sana Mir (20 not out) shored up the total of 113 for eight. Megan Schutt, the top ranked bowler in ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings, picked up a brace of wickets, and four other Australia bowlers got on the board.
Player of the Match, Australia’s Alyssa Healy said, “I think if we’re honest, we probably left a few (runs) out there. I think they bowled really well in the middle period and sort of shut us down a little bit.
“In saying that, chasing 160, 170 on that wicket was never going to be easy. So I think batting lineup did a really good job in the end, but I think moving forward we’ll look to push 180.”
Pakistan’s Nida Dar said, “(Having lost one match) we still have an opportunity. This wicket is very slow and this kind of wicket is just like (what we have) in Pakistan. So we have a great opportunity for next matches, for next three matches.”
Defending champions thrash Bangladesh
Defending champions the Windies were given a bit of a scare by Asian champions Bangladesh in the last match of the night, when they were restricted to just 106 for eight in their 20 overs. Bangladesh became the third team on the day to use four spinners and just one pacer, the other two being their Asian neighbours. Riding on early blows by medium pacer Jahanara Alam (3 for 23), the spinners took four wickets between them to tie down the Windies batters.
The Windies responded by bowling Bangladesh out for the lowest score in World T20s, 46 in 14.4 overs, with seven wickets shared by the fast bowlers. Five of those went to Deandra Dottin, who claimed figures of five for five, the cheapest five wicket haul in T20Is and best figures in ICC Women’s World T20s. Four of Dottin’s victims were bowled, and no Bangladesh batter got into double figures.
Player of the match Deandra Dottin said, “Well, I rate this one as one of the top performances I’ve had. Most of the performances I’ve had in the past were with the bat, but coming through with the ball is very tremendous.
“I think it’s fabulous playing in front of the crowd with the showcase that we have put on with the ball and the fielding and stuff. It was great.”
Bangladesh’s Jahanara Alam said: “Well, we elected to field (in our) first two matches because of our strength - we believe that our strength is definitely bowling and fielding. If we restrict to others below 120, then we can chase them as our batting unit. So yes, we can, that was our strategy actually.”
Scores in brief:
India defeated New Zealand by 34 runs at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown
India: 194-5, 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Jemima Rodrigues 59; Lea Tahuhu 2-18)
New Zealand: 160-9, 20 overs (Suzie Bates 67, Katie Martin 39; Dayalan Hemalatha 3-26, Poonam Yadav 3-33, Radha Yadav 2-31)
Player of the Match: Harmanpreet Kaur
Australia defeated Pakistan by 52 runs at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown.
Australia: 165-5, 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 48, Beth Mooney 48, Meg Lanning 41; Aliya Riyaz 2-25, Nashra Sandhu 2-43)
Pakistan: 160-9, 20 overs (Bismah Mahroof 26, Umaima Sohail 20, Sana Mir 20 not out; Megan Schutt 2-13, Georgia Wareham 2-18)
Player of the match: Alyssa Healy
Windies defeated Bangladesh by 60 runs at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown
Windies: 106-8, 20 overs (Kycia Knight 32, Stafanie Taylor 29; Jahanara Alam 3-23, Rumana Ahmed 2-16)
Bangladesh: 46 all out in 14.4 overs (Fargana Hoque 8; Deandra Dottin 5-5, Shakera Selman 2-12)
Player of the match: Deandra Dottin
England v Sri Lanka, St. Lucia (Group A)
(With ICC inputs)