India makes it to Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final with a thrilling last-ball win

By Kersi Meher-Homji

What a thriller, what a climax! I am referring to the Women’s World Cup match between India and New Zealand in Melbourne yesterday.

The result was in doubt till the final ball. New Zealand batter Hayle Jensen had to hit the last ball of the match for a four to secure a victory for her country. But she was run out and India won by three runs.

This narrow win took India in the semi-final of the World Cup.

India’s 16 year-old opening batter and the eventual Person of the Match Shafali Verma started attacking from the first over and hit 46 runs with four fours and three sixes. But the others failed and India totalled 8 for 133.

India looked certain to win when the Kiwis lost 5 for 90 in 16.3 overs. They needed 44 runs to win in 21 balls. This worked out at more than two runs a ball. Impossible, I said to myself.

But the match took a sudden turn when Amelia Kerr started attacking with gusto, bringing New Zealand close to a surprise win. She hit 34 unbeaten runs off 19 balls, with six glorious fours, adding 40 runs in 21 balls with Hayle Jensen.

It was a heroic fightback by the Kiwis but they fell short by just three runs. India got two points for this win and six points in their three matches so far and became the first team to enter the semi-final.

At the presentation India’s relieved captain Harmanpreet Kaur said, “It’s a great feeling when your team performs day in and day out. Still we made the same mistakes after a good first ten overs but couldn’t carry the momentum. We can’t make silly mistakes with harder games coming up. Shafali is giving us good starts, her initial runs are crucial for us.”

Player of the Match teenager Shafali Verma appeared pleased as a punch. She exclaimed, “Feeling good, very happy with the performance, want to continue doing this. I waited for the loose balls and converted those. Credit goes to my father and academy to have helped me get here.”

Remember, she is only 16. A terrific future awaits her.


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