Cricket news round-up – March 1: New Zealand win a thriller, Jaipur to host Women’s T20 Challenge

Cricket news round-up – March 1: New Zealand win a thriller, Jaipur to host Women’s T20 Challenge

New Zealand Women

New Zealand won a low-scoring thriller against Bangladesh. Indians won their last group match. South Africa took 1-0 lead in the ODI series against Australia. Jaipur will host the Women’s T20 Challenge with four teams.

New Zealand beat Bangladesh

New Zealand Women got their second win of the T20 World Cup in dramatic fashion and now will fight with Australia for a spot in the semi-final. Despite being overwhelming favourites, New Zealand displayed a poor batting show as they were folded for just 91 runs in the 19th over. Their top-order started well as the opener Rachel Priest top scored with 25. However, they lost their last eight wickets for 25 runs as the Bangladesh seamer Ritu Moni ran through the middle order to finish with 4/18. The captain Salma Khatun finished with three for just seven runs.

New Zealand bowlers required to bowl brilliantly to defend such a low total and they were right on the money from the beginning. Leigh Kasperek and Hayley Jensen picked up three wickets each as Bangladesh batters were never in control. Only three players reached double-figure with Nigar Sultana top-scoring with 21. They were finally bowled out for 74 handing a win by 17 runs to the Kiwis.

Indian women win last group match

India Women continued their winning run and finished the group stage winning all the four matches in the group stage. They will now play the first Semi-final against the second-placed team in Group B. Bowling first, Indian bowlers again delivered a brilliant show to restrict Sri Lanka to just 113/9 in 20 overs. All the bowlers picked up at least one wicket with Radha Yadav being the star who finished with 4 for 23. Rajeswari Gayakwad got 2 for 18. For Sri Lanka, Chamari Atapattu again top-scored with 33.

The Indian chase started brightly as Shafali Verma continued her sensational form in this tournament. The youngster scored 47 off 34 balls with 7 fours and 1 six. Smriti Mandhana (17) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (15) were engaged in a partnership with Verma. Eventually, Jemimah Rodrigues (15*) and Deepti Sharma (15*) saw India through to a seven-wicket win.

South Africa ake 1-0 lead against Australia

South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series against Australia with a 74-run win. Heinrich Klaasen starred with the bat with his maiden ODI century. South Africa did not start well as they lost the opener, Janneman Malan, on the first ball of the match and the new captain Quinton de Kock also could not bat long. Klaasen and the debutant Kyle Verreynne started the recovery with a partnership of 78 runs in the 4th wicket. The key partnership came next when David Miller accompanied Klaasen in a 149-run partnership as he scored 64. Klaasen played brilliantly and scored 123 off 114 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes. South Africa finished with 291/7 as Pat Cummins took 3 for 45 and Mitchell Starc 2 for 59.

Australia lost wickets at regular interval and barring an 84-run stand between Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne there were not much resistance. Steve Smith’s 76 and Labuschagne’s 41 were the only two contributions of note as they were all out for 217. It was a good team effort by South African bowlers as Lungi Ngidi finished with 3 for 30. Both Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi finished with two wickets each.

Four teams to play Women’s T20 Challenge

Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 will be played during the IPL Playoff and Finals week according to the BCCI media release. Last year 39 players including some overseas players were divided into three teams whereas this year four teams will play the Challenge. Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will host the competition like the previous year.

The first edition in 2018, had a one-off game between Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas and Smriti Mandhana’s Trailblazers at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.  In 2019 a third-team namely Velocity, led by Mithali Raj was added and the matches were played in a single round-robin format followed by a final. Supernovas won both editions.