New Zealand Women Won By 93 Runs
Match Report: The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Group A game between New Zealand Women and Ireland Women at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Friday (March 18) was one-way traffic, with New Zealand brutal in its 93-run win, the inexperience of Ireland showing through.
The schoolkids in the stands hardly complained about the difference in the standards as Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine entertained them with some big hits. Their 104-run partnership for the second wicket took the White Ferns to 177 for 3, and then the spinners restricted Ireland to 84 for 5.
Rachel Priest, who had batted well in the seven-wicket win in the opening game against Sri Lanka Women, set the tone with three fours off overpitched deliveries in the first over. But her luck ran out in the second over when she swept a full delivery from Amy Kenealy only to see Clare Shillington take a smart diving catch near the square-leg umpire.
Realising that the conditions hardly offered any assistance to the bowlers, Isobel Joyce, the Ireland captain, took out the slip very early in the innings and deployed a fielder at sweeper cover to control the run flow. But the field placements were hardly a factor for Bates and Devine, who used their power to good effect in hitting eight fours and two sixes during their 75-ball partnership.
They played out a total of 27 dot balls and capitalised on the remaining 48 deliveries to score their runs at a strike rate of 216.66. Their experience came to the fore as they toyed with the gaps in the field.
The first milestone in the game came in the penultimate ball of the sixth over when Bates pulled a short delivery from Kenealy to the square-leg fence to become the first White Ferns player with 2,000 T20 International runs. By the time she was dismissed in the 19th over for a 60-ball 82 after slog-sweeping two consecutive sixes off Kim Garth, Bates had taken her tally to 2,063 and jumped to the second position in the list behind Charlotte Edwards’s aggregate of 2463.
Ireland got a rare chance to smile when Isobel saw Devine step out and bowled out of her reach to have her stumped for a 34-ball 47. The second-wicket pair fell 15 short of crossing the highest-ever stand for the wickets in T20I history, set by Bates and Amiee Watkins back in 2009.
Bates continued the assault in company of Sarah McGlashan, and the interest shifted towards the skipper’s potential maiden T20I century. It was not to be as she fell to Garth against the run of play in the last ball of the 19thover. McGlashan and Amy Satterthwaite took ten runs in the final over to help New Zealand post its fourth-highest T20I total.
After the batters, it was the turn of the New Zealand bowlers to live up to their side of the bargain as the team tried to boost its net run-rate.
Cecilia Joyce was stumped off Morna Nielsen in the third over, and wickets fell at regular intervals after that.
Isobel’s knock of 28 was one of the rare positives for Ireland, before she played across the line against Devine to be bowled in the 17th over.
Devine had eight more balls after that to pick up another wicket and join Stafanie Taylor in a rare club of cricketers with 1,000 runs and 50 victims in T20Is. The record did not come through, but she was hardly complaining about it.
Australia Women Won By Six Wickets
Match Report: On a Nagpur pitch that did not offer the turn expected of it, Australia Women beat South Africa Women by six wickets under lights in an ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Group A match on Friday (March 18).
After South Africa won the toss and batted, it failed to cash in on a positive start, only managing 102 for 6. After an early scare in their reply, Australia coasted to the target with nine balls to spare.
Alex Blackwell, who came out to the toss as Meg Lanning was recovering from an upset stomach, batted serenely despite some early wickets, and top scored with an unbeaten 42 off 46 balls. For the South Africans, Dane van Niekerk stood out with her innings of 45 in 47 balls at the top of the order, but the middle order imploded and it eventually fell well short of a par score.
Australia was rattled early in its chase by a fiery couple of overs from Shabnim Ismail, who castled Alyssa Healy and had Elyse Villani chopping on. Marizanne Kapp then removed Ellyse Perry for nought to have Australia at 9 for 3 in the fourth over.
With Lanning being off the field for some time, she could not bat at her usual No. 3, and South Africa sniffed an upset. The frenzy abated, though, when Ismail was taken off, as Blackwell and Jess Jonassen added 44 for the fourth wicket, taking 12 runs off the ninth over to break the shackles.
Jonassen was stumped with 49 still needed, when Lanning walked in and showed no signs of poor health. She combined with Blackwell to guide the world champion home with no further hiccups, hitting five fours in her 30 off just 19 balls, which earned her the Player of the Match award. By the time Ismail came back to bowl two of the last three overs, the Australians needed just 13 runs. Nine balls later, the target was achieved, with Ismail’s fourth over going unused.
Earlier, South Africa got off to a robust start, but the openers were guilty of not being able to raise the tempo after getting their eye in. Van Niekerk and Trisha Chetty (34 in 41 balls) bade their time in the first four overs, but took 26 runs off the next two, to give them a respectable 39 for no loss after the Power Play.
Van Niekerk, in particular, looked in imperious form, stepping out and dismissing Rene Farrell for six over long-on, a monster hit that went into the stands. However, once Lanning spread the field, South Africa found the boundary only once more in the next 14 overs.
The Australian catching first blew cold and then red hot. Erin Osborne and Perry dropped both the openers off their own bowling, but after that, Australia took four brilliant catches to snuff the life out off the middle order. The best of the lot was Sarah Coyte’s effort at point, where she dived to her left to dismiss Dinesha Devnarain’s full-blooded stroke.
Perry and Lauren Cheatle then picked up two wickets each on a pitch where the spinners were expected to hold sway, and South Africa finished tamely