India will enter the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as one of the favourites with some superstars in the lineup. The Women in Blue played in the recently-concluded tri-series in South Africa. They defeated West Indies in two matches and South Africa once in the league phase. However, in the final, they just couldn’t get past the Proteas who were absolutely brilliant on the day.
Opting to bat first, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side could only manage to score only 109 for 4 in 20 overs. They had a sluggish start as Smriti Mandhana scored a 9-ball duck. Harleen Deol held the innings together with a 56-ball 46 but couldn’t accelerate in the end. Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma showed intent but boundaries were hard to come by. South African bowlers were also immaculate with a pitch that wasn’t conducive to strokeplay. Exceptional innings from Chloe Tryon of 57 off just 32 balls sealed the match for South Africa.
Harmanpreet Kaur won’t be too perturbed by the result and would like to look at the positives from the tournament. Deepti was top-notch, bagging the most number of wickets (9 from 5 matches). She also played a crucial knock of 33 in the first match against South Africa to help India win. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was amongst the runs as she scored 109 runs in 3 innings. Smriti also played a fine knock against the West Indies.
How did India fare in the warm-up matches?
India played two warm-up matches against Bangladesh and Australia. They lost to Australia by 44 runs but defeated Bangladesh by 52 runs. Richa Ghosh smashed a brilliant 56-ball 91 against Bangladesh. Devika Vaidya was the pick of the bowlers against the Asian country as she picked up 2 wickets in 3 overs. Against Australia, Shika Pandey stood out with the ball, picking up 2 wickets in 3 overs and giving away just 9 runs. Nobody could really impress with the bat though as India was bundled out for 85 while chasing 130 for victory.
India seems to have all bases covered. If the other pitches in South Africa are like Buffalo Park in East London, the Asian nation will be a team to look out for. Spin is India’s strong point and that was exactly what Buffalo Park offered throughout the tri-series.
Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey
Reserves: Sabbhineni Meghana, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh.
February 12, Sunday: India vs Pakistan – Cape Town – 6:30 PM IST
February 15, Wednesday: India vs West Indies – Cape Town – 6:30 PM IST
February 18, Saturday: India vs England – Gqeberha – 6:30 PM IST
February 20, Monday: India vs Ireland – Gqeberha – 6:30 PM IST