India women maintained their unbeaten streak in the ICC Women’s World T20, as they defeated favourites Australia by 48 runs at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, India lost Taniya Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues early to Ashleigh Gardner and Delissa Kimmince respectively.
But Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur batted steadily and added 68 runs for the third wicket, before the latter was dismissed by Delissa Kimmince for a quickfire 43
Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma and Dayalan Hemalatha all fell cheaply in quest for some quick runs.
However Mandhana held one end up, and her superb knock of 83 runs helped the Women in Blue reach a total of 167/8 in 20 overs. She also brought up 1000 T20I runs, and became the second quickest to achieve this landmark after veteran Mithali Raj.
Chasing a target of 168, the Australian opening pair of Beth Mooney and Elyse Villani gave their team a solid start before Deepti Sharma sent both of them back in quick succession.
Australia had to do without the services of power hitter Alyssa Healy as she was injured after a collision with Megan Schutt while both attempted to go for a catch in the penultimate over of the Indian innings.
The Indian spinners kept the lid on the scoring rate as the Australian batsman failed to accelerate.
Ellyse Perry (39)* tried to delay the inevitable with some lusty hits at the end, but Australia were eventually bowled out for 119. This was the Australian team’s second loss on the day in the T20 format, with the men going down by 21 runs to South Africa earlier
Anuja Patil claimed the last 2 wickets and ended up as India’s best bowler with figures of 3/15.
Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma also picked up two wickets each.
With this win, India remain unbeaten and are at the top of Group B with 8 points, while Australia are placed second with 6 points. Both teams have already qualified for the semifinals.