Shafaia Verma
Indian batting star Shafaia Verma, seen here in a stock photo

Australia defeated India by 44 runs in a low-scoring warm-up match for the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup.

India’s batting once again let them down as they lost to Australia by 44 runs in a low-scoring warm-up match for the Women’s T20 World Cup on Monday in Cape Town. The Indian bowlers ripped through the Australian top order after being given the chance to bowl, but an undefeated 50-run partnership between the tail end of the team (Georgia Wareham, 32) and Jess Jonassen, 22), helped Australia to a score of 129 for 8. The Indian batting lineup responded by being bowled out for 85 runs in 15 overs.

For the second match in a row, India’s batting performance fell short. Against South Africa in the final of the Tri-Series last week, the ‘Women in Blue’ also experienced a catastrophic collapse. Shafali Verma (2), Smriti Mandhana (0), and Richa Ghosh (0) all fell victim to Darcie Brown (4/17), who ran through the Indian top order like a wrecking ball (5).

Jemimah Rodrigues, who opened the innings with Shafali, continued her miserable form by being run out for zero, while captain Harmanpreet Kaur did not bat.

Deepti Sharma, the all-rounder, stayed unbroken on 19 while Harleen Doel, also 12, showed some intent by smashing two fours before being run out. If someone had stayed with India till the finish, she might have been able to win.

Australia’s captain Meg Lanning (0) and Tahlia McGrath (2) were dismissed in the first two overs bowled by veteran pacer Shikha Pandey (2/9).

Australia was in a precarious position at 10 for 3 when Radha Yadav ran out Ellyse Perry for 1. Pooja Vastrakar (2/16) and Radha Yadav (2/22) plowed through the middle order, despite some opposition from Ash Gardner (22) and Beth Mooney (28).

Renuka Singh, who was not having a good day, was India’s most expensive bowler, with 39 runs allowed in his three overs.

Wareham and Jonassen put up a partnership that the Indians couldn’t break, scoring five fours and three sixes between them.

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