Harmanpreet slams ton, India beat New Zealand by 34 runs to start campaign

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur struck a majestic ton while Dayalan Hemalatha and Poonam Yadav scalped three wickets each as India beat New Zealand by 34 runs in the first match of the ICC Women’s World T20 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Friday.

Chasing a target of 195 to win, New Zealand got off to the perfect start with openers Suzie Bates and Anna Peterson putting on fifty-run stand for the first wicket.

Debutant Hemalatha broke the partnership by getting rid of Peterson for 14. Sohpie Devine too followed suit as she became Poonam’s first scalp of the day. On the next delivery, Poonam got rid of Jess Watkin to leave the Kiwis reeling.

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Hemalatha dismissed Amy Satterthwaite and Maddy Green in quick succession to end her first outing in T20Is with a three-wicket haul.

Katey Martin hit a few boundaries to add respectability to the Kiwi score but in the end, New Zealand fell short by quite some distance as India started their campaign on a winning note.

Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur became the first Indian woman to record a century in the shortest format as her scintillating 51-ball 103 helped India post a commanding score of 194/5 in 20 overs.

The 29-year Harmanpreet reached the three-figure mark in 49 balls, inclusive of eight sixes and seven fours. The skipper led by example after India were struggling at 40 for three.

Jemimah Rodrigues too struck a brisk 59 off 45 balls with the help of seven boundaries. In the process, 18-year-old became the youngest player to score a fifty in Word T20 tournament.

India were in a spot of bother after losing three early wickets, however, Harmanpreet and Jemimah had other ideas, adding 134 runs for the fourth wicket, which is an Indian record at WT20.

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