File image of India batter Shafali Verma© AFP
Batting let India down once again as they collapsed like a pack of cards to suffer a 44-run loss to Australia in a low-scoring Women’s T20 World Cup warm-up match in Cape Town on Monday. Asked to field, the Indian bowlers blew away the Australian top order but tail-enders Georgia Wareham (32) and Jess Jonassen’s (22) unbeaten 50-run partnership powered Australia to 129 for 8. In reply, the Indian batters were skittled out for 85 in 15 overs.
It was the second consecutive time that batting has let down India. The ‘Women in Blue’ had suffered a similar collapse in the Tri-Series final last week against South Africa. Pacer Darcie Brown (4/17) was the wrecker-in-chief as she cleaned up the Indian top order, taking the vital scalps of Shafali Verma (2), Smriti Mandhana (0) and Richa Ghosh (5).
Harleen Doel (12) showed some intent, hitting two fours before succumbing to a run out while Deepti Sharma was the top scorer as the all-rounder remained unbeaten on 19. She could have taken India over the line had someone stayed with her till the end.
A run out by Radha Yadav spelt the end of Ellyse Perry (1) as Australia were reeling at 10 for 3. Ash Gardner (22) and Beth Mooney (28) provided some resistance but Pooja Vastrakar (2/16) and Radha Yadav (2/22) ran through the middle order.
Renuka Singh, who had an off day, was the most expensive bowler for India, giving away 39 runs in three overs.
But the Indians couldn’t break the partnership between Wareham and Jonassen who shared five fours and three sixes between them.
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