New Zealand qualified for the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2010 after recording its second successive victory at Warner Park, St Kitts on Saturday.
After scoring 154-7 in 20 overs, New Zealand bowled well to restrict Sri Lanka to 107-8 to win by 47 runs and maintain its unbeaten run.
Earlier in the match between traditional rivals, India defeated Pakistan by nine wickets to earn its first victory. Chasing a modest 105-run victory target, India romped home with 20 balls and nine wickets to spare.
India and Sri Lanka are now on a win each with the winner of Monday’s match between the two sides to join Australia, the West Indies and New Zealand in the semi-finals to be staged alongside the men’s event at Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia on 13 and 14 May.
In the opening fixture of the day, Jhulan Goswami’s side took on Sana Mir’s Pakistan in a match that proved to be a somewhat one-sided affair. After limiting Pakistan to just 104-6 in 20 overs, Goswami’s side came in and knocked off the required runs in just over an hour and to win with nine wickets to spare.
Poonam Raut was the star player for India, scoring run-a-ball 54 not out innings that included six boundaries.
“It’s obviously great to win Player of the Match for my side, but all I did was to go out there and bat my hardest for my team. I just want to keep going and help my side beat Sri Lanka on Monday and hopefully qualify for semi-finals,” said Raut.
Put into bat, Pakistan’s opener Nain Abidi made a good start with 20 off 14 balls but her form was not to be followed by the three next batters who departed for two, one and zero respectively.
It was then up to captain Sana Mir to take control, of which she did, and managed 35 off 41 balls before being stumped by Sulakshana Naik off the bowling of Priyanka Roy who finished as the pick of India bowlers with figures of 3-19.
As India took the field, a cloud loomed in the distance but the chance of rain was not going to stop India from reaching the target. Naik got the Indians under way before being run out for 16 and the task was left to Raut and Mithali Raj to bring the win home for India.
The 20-year-old Raut made amends for her duck in her first match of the tournament by scoring an unbeaten 54 that included six boundaries. Raj, a former India captain, aided her with a 28-ball 33 and the pair knocked off the last nine runs required after a brief interval for rain at the end of the 16th over..
In the afternoon match, New Zealand saw off the challenge of Sri Lanka to win by a comfortable 47-run margin,
Batting first, Aimee Watkins’s side scored 154-7 in 20 overs after a strong start from stylish opening batter Suzie Bates who made 50 off 43 balls in a performance that included six boundaries.
Together with Watkins (20), Bates put on 54 runs for the first wicket in 48 balls. Sara McGlashan also batted well to hit two fours and two sixes in a 23-ball 31 while Nicola Browne (20 not out) also smashed the ball twice into the Warner Park stands.
Watkins, reflecting on her side’s victory, said: “I think our batting at the death went well today. We scored a lot of runs off the last five or six overs which was really pleasing.
“I suppose looking forward to the next match (against Pakistan), it’s about making sure we get some more batters to hit form and get some runs, as well as the bowlers making sure that they hit the right lengths.”
New Zealand won the toss and Watkins elected to bat first after a slight delayed start due to a heavy downpour in the break between the double-headers at Warner Park.
Bates again led from the front for the White Ferns in making her way to another half-century while McGlashan and Browne added to the total nicely.
Sri Lanka captain Chamani Seneviratne was the pick of her side’s bowlers with 4-21, a performance that included the scalps of Bates, Browne, Liz Perry and Erin Bermingham. Overall the Sri Lanka side showed agility in the field and strong bowling despite the high score by the White Ferns.
After the restart, the Sri Lanka side came out firing on all cylinders but the batting line-up was not strong enough to build a consistent lead against a superior side.
Chamari Atapattu made 21 from 14 balls and Suwini de Alwis 26 from 24, but only one other batsman managed double-figures.
Scores in brief:
At Warner Park, India beat Pakistan by nine wickets
Pakistan 104-6, 20 overs (Sana Mir 35, Urooj Mumtaz 26 not out; Priyanka Roy 3-19)
India 106-1, 16.4 overs (Poonam Raut 54 not out, Mithali Raj 33 not out)
India won by nine wickets
At Warner Park, New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 47 runs
New Zealand 154-7, 20 overs (Suzie Bates 50, Sara McGlashan 31; Chamani Seneviratna 4-21)
Sri Lanka 107-8, 20 overs (Suwini de Alwis 26, Chamari Atapattu 21; Erin Bermingham 2-15, Sophie Devine 2-18)
New Zealand won by 47 runs