Spinners were the stars once again as India they beat 2016 champions West Indies in a low-scoring thriller in Harmanpreet Kaur and Co’s only warm-up game ahead of this week’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Poonam Yadav took two wickets in the final over as India defended a lowly 107/8 to win by two runs at the on Tuesday at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. This is last warm-up match before Friday’s T20 World Cup opener against Australia. The first warm-up match against Pakistan on Sunday was abandoned due to wet outfield.
In the other warm-up game, Sri Lanka stunned last edition’s runners-up England as they chased 123 in just 12.3 overs to win by 10 wickets Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide. Earlier, Australia beat South Africa by four wickets to keep their preparation for title defence on track.
Choosing to first, India had a collective collapse with the bat with no player from the storied top four crossing 13 runs as India struggled at 47/4 in the 11th over. Smriti Mandhana had a rare poor outing with the bat, managing just for runs, while Jemimah Rodrigues was out for a duck. Big-hitting opener Shafali Verma scored an 11-ball 12 while captain Kaur made 11 off 16.
Deepti Sharma, coming in at No 5, brought a semblance of order to the score with 21 and then a cameo from Shikha Pandey lower down the order – a 16-ball 24 – gave India a total worth defending.
With 107 on the board, the onus was India’s spinners to make it a match and they did so with regular wickets. Opener Lee-Ann Kirby made 42 from 41 balls and threatened to take the match away from India, but Deepti Sharma (4-0-12-1) and Harmanpreet Kaur (4-0-15-1) kept a tight hold on proceedings.
All of India’s good work came close to being undone when Hayley Matthews and Chinelle Henry plundered 19 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Rajeshwari Gayakwad. But the experienced Poonam Yadav, returning from injury, bowled a superb 20th over to ensure India got the win. She got both the big-hitting batters and finished with figures of 4-0-20-3.
In the practice Super Over after, West Indies got the better of India. They finished with 12/1 while Shamilia Connell bowled a superb over as India lose two wickets within four balls.
In the England-Sri Lanka match, Shashikala Siriwardana got excellent bowling figures of 4-0-22-4 as the ODI champions were reduced to 122/9. Captain Chamari Athapaththu (78) and Hasini Madushika (29) then put together an unbeaten opening stand to get a morale-boosting practice win.
For defending champions Australia, captain Meg Lanning scored 47 to seal final-over victory against South Africa.