Twitter Reactions: India Women win the T20 World Cup opener as Poonam Yadav stuns Australia in Sydney

Twitter Reactions: India Women win the T20 World Cup opener as Poonam Yadav stuns Australia in Sydney

Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey shared seven wickets between them.

Poonam Yadav
Poonam Yadav. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

India have stunned the favourites Australia in the opening game of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Sydney. Defending only 132 runs on the board after losing the toss, the Indian bowlers stuck to their task. Poonam Yadav delivered a magical spell as she was all over the opposition batters and was well supported by Shikha Pandey as the duo shared seven wickets together to help India bowl out the hosts for just 115 runs and get two crucial points.

In what seemed like a comfortable chase, Australia Women began well with Alyssa Healy finally found her lost touch. She took the attack to the opposition in the powerplay and at one stage, it seemed that the home team will run away with the game. Healy rather got to the half-century in no time off just 34 deliveries and Australia were sitting pretty at 67/2 in the 10th over.

This is when the game started to change. After hitting a six off Poonam Yadav to get to her fifty, Healy got out off the very next delivery. This was the third wicket to fall for the hosts with Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney not adding much to the total early on. Once Healy was gone, Poonam just spun the web around the opposition with her exceptional variations.

And the Aussie batter had no idea what was happening. Rachel Haynes and Ellyse Perry were dismissed in the same over and then it was the turn of Jess Jonassen who underedged the ball only for Taniya Bhatia to pull off a brilliant catch. Shikha Pandey also joined in the fun to pick wickets in the final few overs then. India continued to tighten the noose around Australia and pressure of required run-rate kept on soaring.

Ashleigh Gardner was there in the middle as the only hope for the home side but even she couldn’t get hold of her shots and her dismissal in the final over sealed the deal for India. Australia were bundled out for 115 in the final over of the innings as they collapsed from being 55/1. While Poonam returned with the magical figures of 4/19, Pandey picked three wickets conceding just 14 runs.

India huff and puff to 132 despite Deepti Sharma’s unbeaten 49

Earlier after losing the toss, India raced off to 40 runs in just four overs courtesy of Shafali Verma’s blitz. She stuck into Megan Schutt smashing four boundaries in an over. But soon after that, they lost Smriti Mandhana, Verma herself and Harmanpreet Kaur. India Women were reduced to 47/3 from 41/1 in the space of 15 deliveries. This is when Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma joined hands to stitch a decent partnership.

The duo concentrated on rotating the strike and even Australia didn’t mind conceding those. The run-rate also came down significantly and just when they thought of upping the ante, the 53-run partnership was broken in the 16th over. At 100/4, they needed a few quickfire runs and 15 of them came in the 17th over thanks to Deepti’s sweeping prowess off Jess Jonassen’s bowling.

But Deepti and Veda Krishnamurthy struggled to churn out the boundaries and could only add 17 runs to the total as India finished on 132/4 after 20 overs. For the hosts, apart from Jonassen, Kimmince bowled really well going for just 24 runs off her four overs while Ellyse Perry was the other wicket-taker.

At the halfway mark, the score didn’t seem to be enough but Poonam Yadav just ran through Australia with her excellent spin bowling and single-handedly won the game for India. This is a great start for the Women in Blue and they will be hoping to continue their winning momentum ahead in the tournament.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: