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ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: Poonam Yadav’s sensational four-fer helps Women in Blue beat Australia by 17 runs

  • India defeated defending champions Australia in Match 1 of ICC Women’s World T20.
  • Spinner Poonam Yadav starred with a match-winning four-wicket haul.
  • Australia failed to chase down a 133-run target against India.

Indian women’s team spinner Poonam Yadav bowled her heart out in the opening match of 2020 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 to help the Women in Blue register a come-from-behind win against Australia in the opening match on at the Sydney Showground Stadium on Friday. Poonam claimed four wickets to sent Australia on backfoot as the Aussies failed to chase down a 133-run target.

Yadav claimed big wickets of Alyssa Healy (51), Rachael Haynes (6), Ellyse Perry (0) and Jess Jonassen (2) in what was a memorable spell of spin bowling.  Poonam finished with brilliant figures of 4-0-19-4. Chasing a 133-run target, Australia were bowled out for 115 in 19.5 overs. Alyssa Healy top-scored for the Aussies with a 51-run knock. Shikha Pandey (3/14) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (1/31) were also among the wickets while the Indian fielders inflicted two run-outs.

Earlier, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana got India off to a flier as the openers added 40 runs in the first four overs. India then lost both Mandhana and Verma in quick succession which brought the hosts back in the game. The middle-order failed to keep the momentum going and the team kept losing one wicket after the other. With Mandhana, Shafali and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur back in the hut, 
Jemimah Rodrigues (26 off 33) and Deepti Sharma (49* off 46) batted sensibly and added a crucial 53-run stand for the fourth wicket. Jess Jonassen (2/24) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia while Ellyse Perry and Delissa Kimmince bagged one wicket apiece.

Lauding Poonam’s match-winning spell, Harmanpreet said after the match, “A bowler like Poonam is someone who leads from the front. We were expecting a great comeback from her. Our team is looking nice, earlier we depended on two-three players.” Poonam was on a hat-trick at point and even created an opportunity off the hat-trick ball but the catch was dropped behind the wicket by Taniya Bhatia. It was a rare miss by the Indian wicket-keeper, who overall had a good day at the field.

India had a good preparation coming into the World Cup as they played a tri-series which also featured two of the world’s strongest teams in England and Australia. India suffered a defeat in the final against Australia. India will now take on Bangladesh in their second match of the tournament on February 24.

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