India Women Begin New Zealand Tour With Defeat

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - India women begin New Zealand tour with defeat. New Zealand women defended their 155/5 successfully to win the one-off T20I

India Women Begin New Zealand Tour With DefeatNew Zealand women defended their 155/5 successfully to win the one-off T20I

On a day when both teams played without their best XIs, New Zealand emerged victorious in the one-off T20I at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown by 18 runs on the back of Lea Tahuhu's all-round effort.

Put in to bat, New Zealand were cautious to get going in the first four overs – which included a maiden over by Pooja Vastrakar. Sophie Devine eventually cut loose against Simran Bahadur. Taking advantage of a wayward start by the pacer, the hosts' skipper smashed her for a four and two sixes off successive deliveries.

Her opening partner, Suzie Bates, picked up pace in a different manner against Rajeshwari Gayakwad's left-arm spin in the next over – working the ball around in gaps for four twos. The veteran pair flourished to add a steady 60-run stand in 7.5 overs before the captain top-edged a sweep off Deepti Sharma to deep mid wicket.

New Zealand made a fair number of adjustments to their batting order, including the promotion of Amelia Kerr. Not all decisions paid dividends as the all-rounder struggled to find rhythm against India's four-pronged spin attack. In her return spell, Pooja Vastrakar tied her up with three dot balls, before her release shot lobbed up to the fielder at cover – ending her 20-ball stay on 17. All along, Maddy Green's blitz ensured that the hosts didn't lose momentum.

New Zealand also continued with their experimentation, which included a promotion for Tahuhu at No 5. Unlike Kerr, the move to use Tahuhu's big-hitting skills worked out well for them. In her brief 16-ball stay, she struck four boundaries and a six to help New Zealand's score surge in the death overs.

Chasing an above-moderate 156 for a win, India too were watchful to begin with. With vice-captain Smriti Mandhana in managed isolation and quarantine, Shafali Varma opened alongside Yastika Bhatia. The duo stitched a 41-run stand in the powerplay before Amelia Kerr had both dismissed in the seventh over. The leggie has Yastika cleaned up from around her legs with a googly and then had Shafali caught in the deep to a pull off a long hop.

India's innings never gained momentum thereafter. Even as S Meghana held one end up, New Zealand bowlers kept chipping in with wickets. In between Jess Kerr cleaning up Harmanpreet Kaur and Simran Bahadur, several batters managed to get starts but were dismissed in their pursuit to hit big. The Indian chase lacked fluency and they were eventually halted at 137 for 8.

The one-off contest was a precursor to the five one-dayers that are set to be played at the same venue, which will serve as a preparation for the upcoming 50-over world cup.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 155/5 in 20 overs (Suzie Bates 36, Sophie Devine 31; Pooja Vastrakar 2-16, Deepti Sharma 2-26) beat India 137/8 in 20 overs (S Meghana 37, Yastika Bhatia 26; Jess Kerr 2-20, Amelia Kerr 2-25) by 18 runs

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