Women’s T20 World Cup: India squander flying start to settle for 132/4 against Australia

Sydney, Feb 21 (PTI) India squandered a flying start to end up with a below-par 132 in their T20 World Cup opener against Australia here on Friday.
Sixteen-year-old Shafali Verma took India to 41 for no loss in four overs with a typical 29 off 15 balls but her fall derailed the innings as the other batters disappointed.
Deepti Sharma made a composed 46-ball 49 in the second half of the innings but the firepower that India needed in the death overs was badly missing.
Sent into bat, India were cruising at 40 for no loss in four overs with Shafali taking the opposition to the cleaners with five fours and a six. However, left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen (2/24) snapped two quick wickets, Smriti Mandhana (10 off 11)and Harmanpreet Kaur (2 off 5) to reduce India to 47 for three.
Deepti then shared 53 runs with Jemimah Rodrigues (26 off 33) to bring up the hundred in the 16th over.
For Australia, Ellyse Perry (1/15) and Delissa Kimmince (1/24) were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier, India made a rollicking start with opener Mandhana blasting two boundaries in the second over off Ellyse Perry.
In the third over, Shafali also joined in, producing an inside out shot across the cover and then sending one over the long-on boundaries off Molly Strano.
Fast bowler Megan Schutt was next in the line for Shafali as she smashed four boundaries off the bowler to accumulate 16 runs in the over.
Jonassen was then introduced into the attack and she struck the first blow, trapping Mandhana.
Perry then had Shafali caught by Annabel Sutherland at mid on as India slipped to 43 for 2 in 5.3 overs.
Skipper Harmanpreet too was back in the hut after she danced down to the pitch against Jonassen only to miss the ball completely.
Jemimah, who had survived a scare after DRS overruled a LBW decision, then joined hands with Deepti as they brought up the hundred in the 16th over.