India continued their winning run, beating New Zealand by four runs in a last-ball thriller of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup on Thursday. Put in to bat, India posted a below-par 133 for eight against New Zealand in the crucial group A match. Shafali top-scored with a 34-ball 46, while Taniya Bhatia chipped in with a 25-ball 23. Indian bowlers then returned to restrict New Zealand to 129 for six in 20 overs.
A happy Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, said, 'It is a great feeling when your team is performing like that. We did the same mistakes, we got a good start in the first 10 overs and we didn't carry the momentum. We did bowl well in patches and some times we were not up to the mark and have to focus on those areas. She is giving us good starts and I hope she continues doing that as quick runs at the top is really important to us.
'New Zealand captain Sophie Devine, said, 'We thought we did a fantastic job, with how Shafali came out at the top, to restrict them to 133 on a reasonably good wicket was a great effort. We adapted to the conditions as we expected it to be a bit more pacier and bouncier, it wasn't. Adjusting our lines and lengths and again our spinners came on board and really tied them down. I think the way the team nearly closed out the game today was fantastic. Green and Martin spent time in the middle and then Kerr did a brilliant job of getting us that close. That's all you can ask for. We can take a lot of positives from this game. Our bowling on how we came back and how we almost finished the game. We cannot dwell too much as we have a game on Saturday'.
Shafali Verma, Player of the Match, said, 'I was happy with the performance and wanted to give a good start at the powerplay. I waited for the loose balls which is my strength and it paid off today. I practised a lot with the boys and I want to thank my dad and all the boys at the practice who helped me train well in batting.'