Poonam steers India to upset Australia

In front of a record 13,000 plus attendance at Sydney Showgrounds in the curtain raiser of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, Poonam Yadav steered India to an upset victory over Australia with a bewitching spell of wrist-spin.

Batting first, India struggled on their way to a below-par 132 for four, with Deepti Sharma making a composed 46-ball 49* in the second half of the innings, sharing 53 runs with Jemmiah Rodrigues (26 off 33).

But in reply, Poonam’s googlies proved to be too god for the hosts and defending champions, who have won the competition four times in previous six editions. Eventually they were bundled out for 115 in 19/5 overs to hand India a comfortable 17-run win.

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This was a comeback match for Poonam, as she missed the preceding tri-series due to a hand injury. But still she managed to remain in good form and she was even on a hat-trick before wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia dropping a difficult chance.

“It was great for me to come back from injury and perform like this,” said the 28-year-old cricketer from Agra. “It was the third time I was on a hat-trick but I am satisfied that I was able to do the job for the team.”

Poonam ended with figures of four for 19, including two successive dismissals in the 12th over.

Alyssa Healy top-scored for Australia as she played a knock of 51 runs, but with her departure, The Women in Blue clawed their way in the match and did not allow the home side to run away with the game.

India will meet Bangladesh in their second Group A game on February 24. The match will be held in Perth.

Scores: India 4 for 132 (Sharma 49*, Jonassen 2-24) beat Australia 115 (Healy 51, Yadav 4-19, Pandey 3-14) by 17 runs.

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