New Zealand Women 145-5 (Watkins 89no, Sharma 2-21) beat
India Women 93-9 (Sharma 24) by 52 runs
By Peter Exley & Aaron Kumar
New Zealand proved too strong for India in the first of the two semi-finals of the Women's World Twenty20 today at Trent Bridge, a brilliant half-century from captain Aimee Watkins proving to be the difference between the two sides.
The Kiwis won the toss and opted to bat but the innings didn't get off to a great start, losing in form batter Suzie Bates for just ten to a stunning catch from Harmanpreet Kaur. However, if India thought they were going to restrict New Zealand to a below par score, they could think again as Watkins produced a brilliant performance scoring 89 not out from just 58 balls to propel her side to 145 for five.
"It was one of those days where whatever I did seemed to come off," she said after the match. "The cricket gods are with me at the moment and I am loving it, the pitch played alright maybe a bit slow off the top but generally it was pretty good. we are rapped to be at Lord's, it is the home of cricket and we are just stoked to be there so Sunday watch out for us."
The pick of the Indian bowlers was Amita Sharma who ended with figures of two for 21 from her four overs and considering 12 came from her first three balls, her figures were even more impressive.
India were up against it from the outset in reply losing Poonam Raut for just five. There was a brief partnership between the experienced pair of Anjum Chopra and Mithali Raj who made 15 and 20 respectively but that didn't last long enough and the loss of Raj really signalled the end for India.
"The wicket was good - if we played the full Twenty20 overs and our top order clicked then we could definately have chased it down," lamented captain Jhulan Goswami. "We didnt score enough in the first six overs. Chasing 145 you need a start and we lacked that," she added.
Amita Sharma went down fighting, hitting two boundaries and a six in top scoring with 24 as India crawled to 93 for nine.
New Zealand wrapped up the victory with the run out of Priyanka Roy and progress with no problems through to the final of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 where they will meet either Australia or England, who play tomorrow at The Oval.
© Cricket World 2009
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