The opening day of the Women’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies began with an exciting tripleheader in Guyana which was spectacular for the viewers. While strong bowling performances propelled West Indies & Australia to wins on the first day, it was India and Harmanpreet Kaur’s batting that was the main highlight of the day.
With India struggling at 45/3 at the end of the 6 overs, it took some blockbuster batting by India captain Harmanpreet Kaur to take the game away from the New Zealand women. Kaur, who scored 103 from 51 balls was ably supported by 18-year-old youngster Jemimah Rodrigues (59 runs from 45 balls) as they steered India towards a mammoth 194/5 in their 20 overs. Kaur’s batting was something unprecedented in Women’s T20 with 8 sixes hit in her innings. To put that in perspective, no team hit more than 8 sixes in an innings in the 2016 edition of this tournament.
After a dominant batting display, the Indian bowlers did a good job restricting New Zealand to 160/9 and take a 34 run win in their opening fixture. This win can turn out to be a crucial win for India’s progress to the next stage, with them having tournament favourites Australia in the same group.
After their clinical win against New Zealand, India faced off against the Pakistan women on Sunday, securing a comfortable victory against their rivals. India, despite dropping five catches in the field, restricted Pakistan to 133/7 in their 20 overs. Pakistan’s score happened to be their highest in World T20 history.
In response, India were clinical with the bat, chasing down the target of 134 in 19 overs. This time, it was stalwart Mithali Raj who opened the innings, showed maturity and steered India to victory with a few beautiful shots and a composed 56 runs from 47 balls.
India play Australia and Ireland in the next two matches, but with a strong display in their opening two fixtures, they are favourites to make the next stage of the tournament along with Australia.