India held their nerve against New Zealand as they won the match by four runs runs to seal their spot in the semi-finals in the ICC Women's World T20 clash at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Harmanpreet Kaur's Indian cricket team are on a high in the ongoing ICC Women's World T20 in Australia. They started the tournament with a 17-run win against defending champions Australia while they put in a solid performance to get the better of Bangladesh in Perth. India's next encounter in the ICC Women's World T20 will be against New Zealand. The equation is simple - A win for India will almost seal their spot in the playoffs but a loss will throw the whole group wide open. New Zealand, on the other hand, got their ICC Women's World T20 campaign off to a great start with a win against Sri Lanka.
Since the last ball was a run-out, India have won by four runs and not three runs. Still, what a nerve-wracker.
OMG! We have had yet another fantastic match. Amelia Kerr hits a reverse sweep to third man for a boundary but off the last ball, she only manages an inside edge and New Zealand lose by three runs to India. What a thriller at the Junction Oval.
A streaky boundary and a single has now boiled down the equation to 10 off 3 balls. Anything can be possible. New Zealand need another boundary.
Kerr smashes four boundaries in the last over bowled by Poonam Yadav. We have a match on our hands. New Zealand need 16 off 6 balls.
Superb over from Deepti Sharma. Just six runs in the over and India are nearing a win. After 18 overs, New Zealand are 100/5, needing 34 off 12 balls.
New Zealand need to go after every ball now but India are really tightening the screws. After 17 overs, New Zealand are 94/5, needing 40 off 18 balls
WICKET! After hitting a boundary, the run-rate pressure tells and Martin falls. Radha Yadav bowls a flighted delivery on leg stump and Martin thumps the slog to deep midwicketbut holes out to the fielder. New Zealand are 90/5 in the 17th over.
New Zealand need two runs every ball now. Amelia Kerr hits a boundary but it is a good comeback from Deepti Sharma. After 16 overs, New Zealand are 86/4, needing 48 off 24 balls.
A superb over from Gayakwad. New Zealand need 55 off 30 balls with a required rate of 11. With the spinners in operation, it will be a tough ask for the White Ferns.
WICKET! The dangerous partnership has been broken. Gayakwad floats a loopy delivery that breaks away outside off, Maddy Green rushes down the track and looks to slog but misses it and is stumped. New Zealand are 77/4 in the 15th over.
Green and Martin are keeping New Zealand in the hunt and they also benefit from overthrows. After 14 overs, New Zealand are 77/3, needing 57 from 36 balls.
Katey Martin connects with the sweep and Poonam Yadav concedes a rare boundary to deep midwicket. After 13 overs, New Zealand are 71/3, needing 63 off 42 balls.
Maddy Green launches Radha Yadav for a massive six over deep midwicket and it is another good over. After 12 overs, New Zealand are 65/3.
Martin and Green slam two boundaries off Rajeshwari Gayakwad but it seems to have come a bit too late. After 11 overs, New Zealand are 55/3.
Maddy Green hits a crucial boundary off Radha Yadav but the asking rate is too high, nearing nine. After 10 overs, New Zealand are 46/3, need 88 off 60 balls.
WICKET! Poonam Yadav's slow bowling is death for aggressive batters. Sophie Devine, who had hit six fifty-plus totals, comes down the track to a loopy full toss and she miscues it horribly to backward point where the catch is taken. New Zealand in deep trouble at 34/3 in 8.1 overs.
Just one run in Radha Yadav's first over and the run-rate has gone up to eight. After eight overs, New Zealand are 34/2.
Poonam Yadav, the slow assasin, is into the attack and immediately, she is troubling the White Ferns with her loop, guile and flight. After seven overs, New Zealand are 33/2 and in big trouble.
WICKET! Another poor shot selection. Bates walks to the off side and looks to paddle Deepti Sharma but ends up dragging it back onto the stumps. India are on top and New Zealand are 30/2 in 5.4 overs.
Devine launches Rajeshwari Gayakwad to the long off fence as New Zealand make decent progress. After five overs, New Zealand are 28/1.
India have lost the review as Devine gets rapped on the pads by an incutter from Shikha Pandey. In the fourth over, New Zealand are 20/1. The ball was missing leg stump.
Sophie Devine hits a crucial boundary in what was becoming a tight over from Rajeshwari Gayakwad. New Zealand are 18/1 after three overs.
WICKET! Poor shot from Rachel Priest. One got the feeling that she was trying to be too aggressive. Full ball from Shikha Pandey and Priest miscues the slog to be caught at midwicket. New Zealand 13/1 in 1.4 overs.
Welcome back to the run chase. New Zealand have started aggressively with Rachel Priest taking the attack to Deepti Sharma. She cuts a four to deep backward point and slog sweeps to deep square leg. After the first over, New Zealand are 12/0.
Radha Yadav hits a six off Hayley Jensen and that has helped India reach 133/8. It is a decent total and considering India's bowling, they should back themselves to defend it. After 20 overs, India are 133/8.
Missed stumping as Rachel Priest fails to collect a low ball from Kasperek and Radha Yadav survives. India are 121/7 in 19 overs. Can they go past 130?
New Zealand are tightening the screws as India fail to find the boundary. After 18 overs, India are 114/7.
WICKET! Deepti Sharma falls and India's chances of reaching 140 have taken a big hit. She slog sweeps Sophie Devine but holes out to the fielder. India are 111/7 in 17.1 overs.
WICKET! New Zealand's review works and India are losing the plot. Kerr floats a flighted legbreak and Krishnamurthy misses the sweep. Replays show it is hitting leg stump. India are 104/6 in the 16th over.
Deepti Sharma slogsweeps Kasperek to deep midwicket but Green runs to her right and fails to latch onto it. The 100 is up for India. Can they get to 150? After 15 overs, India are 100/5.
WICKET! That is the massive wicket New Zealand were after. The pressure was telling on Verma and she misses the chance to reach a fifty. Flighted delivery from Amelia Kerr and Verma lofts the inside out shot to long on but holes out to the fielder. India are 96/5 after 14 overs.
Harmanpreet Kaur's poor run of form continues. Century in 2018 this time just 1. Slow, floated delivery outside off, Harmanpreet chips the shot back to Kesperek who takes the catch. After 13 overs, India are 93/4.
Verma continues to find the boundary as she steers a wide ball from Mair to the third man fence and then thumps Mair for her third six. She and Harmanpreet now hold the key if India are to reach anywhere between 160-170. After 12 overs, India are 90/3.
Mair gets rewarded for the drop earlier. She bowls a length delivery on leg stump and it straightens, Jemimah Rodrigues gets a big top edge and it is taken at backward point. India are 80/3 in 11.1 overs. In comes Harmanpreet.
DROPPED! That will be a very costly miss. Mair bowls it short and Shafali thumps the short ball to midwicket but Leah Tahuhu drops a sitter. This will hurt New Zealand big time. After 10 overs, India are 75/2.
WICKET! The dangerous partnership is broken. Rosemary Mair bowls a short and wide ball outside off and Taniya Bhatia cracks a cut shot but finds the fielder. India are 68/2 in 9.1 overs.
Verma hangs back and cuts Kerr to the third man fence as the fifty-run stand is up between Verma and Bhatia. After nine overs, India are 68/1.
Taniya Bhatia clubs Hayley Jensen for another four to deep midwicket as India keep piling on the runs. In the final ball, Verma mistimes the lofted shot and luckily, it lands safe in front of the fielder at longon. After eight overs, India are 60/1.
Amelia Kerr the legspinner misses her length and Taniya Bhatia sweeps her to deep backward square leg. After seven overs, India are 54/1.
India end the powerplay strongly after six overs. Good over from Hayley Jensen but India are on top at 49/1 with Shafali Verma in great form.
SIX! Shot! Shafali Verma is on fire. She dances down the track to Anna Peterson and blasts her for a six. She follows it up by hammering a low full toss to long on for the second consecutive six. After five overs, India are 46/1.
Sophie Devine bowls a decent over but Shafali Verma blasts a short ball to deep midwicket for a boundary and India are 33/1 after four overs.
Taniya Bhatia flicks a low full toss from Tahuhu to the deep backward square leg and India are 24/1 in the third over.
WICKET! Superb comeback from Tahuhu. She bowls a full ball slightly wide outside off, Smriti Mandhana chases after it with no feet movement and she drags the ball back onto the stumps. After 2.2 overs, India are 17/1
Smriti Mandhana is in fine form as she launches Rosemary Mair over mid on for her second boundary. India are once again starting well in the powerplay. Verma ends the over in style with a flayed boundary over cover and after two overs, they are 15/0.
Mandhana thumps Tahuhu over cover and even with three fielders giving chase, the ball rolls away to the deep extra cover fence. India are 5/0 after the first over.
The national anthems are now done. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma stride out to the middle. Both batters have given India fantastic starts in the two matches so far, in particular and she will be wanting to do it again against New Zealand. Verma to take strike and Leah Tahuhu will open the bowling.
Richa Ghosh is out while Radha Yadav is also back in the side. Here are the playing XIs of both the sides.
New Zealand Women (Playing XI): Sophie Devine(c), Rachel Priest(w), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Anna Peterson, Leigh Kasperek, Lea Tahuhu, Rosemary Mair
India Women (Playing XI): Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia(w), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
New Zealand opt to bowl against India at the Junction Oval.
Smriti Mandhana, who had missed the match against Bangladesh due to fever, could be back in the side for this clash against New Zealand, forever punching above their weight yet coming up short. Can the White Ferns avenge the defeats of India which they infliced on their male counterparts the Blackcaps? Toss shortly.
A warm welcome to the crucial match between India and New Zealand in the women's World T20 clash at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. A loss for India could throw the whole group wide open like Pool B while a win for Harmanpreet Kaur's side will potentially seal their spot in the playoffs.