Women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Friday romped into history books as she became the first Indian to score a century in a Twenty20 International.India rode on a belligerent maiden T20I century from skipper to post the highest-ever total of 194/5 against New Zealand in the opening match of the Women's World T20 at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown.
Kaur smashed a ton off just 49 deliveries hitting seven fours and eight sixes, helping India post a daunting total of 194 for 5 in 20 overs against New Zealand.
This is India's highest-ever total in the history of the Women's World T20.
Kaur also stitched a sensational 134-run partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues who also scored her fourth T20 half-century, hitting 59 off 45 deliveries.
Jemimah also became the youngest Indian to score a half-century in the T20s.
Chasing a mammoth 195, New Zealand never looked in contention as they lost wickets at regular intervals and could only manage 160/9.
Apart from opening stand of 52 runs between Suzie Bates (67) and Anna Petersen (14)A no other player rose to the occasion and failed to build partnerships.
Bates and Katey Martin (39) were the highest scorers for New Zealand.
For India, Dayalan Hemalatha and Poonam Yadav took three wickets each.
Harmanpreet Kaur got the @WorldT20 off to a RAPID start with a sensational display of hitting in Guyana. Here are her biggest and best shots, delivered by @Oppo #FlashCharge. pic.twitter.com/KOSrNbDGOJ— ICC (@ICC) November 10, 2018
Kaur belted a 51-ball 103, laced with seven boundaries and eight sixes, and more importantly raised a record 134-run fourth wicket stand with the young Jemimah Rodrigues (59 off 45 balls; 4X7) to bail India out of a troubled start.
Kaur's 103 is only the third century in Women's WT20 history. Australia's Meg Lanning and West Indies' Deandra Dottin are the others to do so.
With this effort, the 29-year-old bettered the previous highest score by an Indian in women's T20Is, 97* by Mithali Raj against Malaysia earlier this year.
Kaur blasted 8 sixes during the knock, equaling the second-most in a women's T20I innings. The eight sixes in this innings are also the most by an Indian in T20Is. By doing so, the India skipper also beat her own record of five sixes which she hit against Sri Lanka in September.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, India found themselves in a vulnerable position, tottering at 40/3 by the sixth over, after losing the top three batswomen -- Taniya Bhatia (9), Smriti Mandhana (2) and Dayalan Hemalatha (15), cheaply.
Making her first appearance in a World T20, Jemimah controlled her nerves playing the perfect second fiddle to the fluent Kaur, who was at her aggressive best throughout the innings.
Kaur raced to a 33-ball 50 and in no time converted that to a magnificent century off only 49 deliveries.
Sensing the urgency of putting up a big total, Jemimah, towards the end also pressed on the accelerator to get to her half century off 40 balls.
New Zealand managed to get rid of the partnership with Jess Watkin getting the back of Jemimah and Sophie Devine dismissing Kaur, but by then the damage was done as India walked back with the highest ever total in a World T20 tie.
What a start to women’s t20 cricket World Cup.Brilliant batting by @JemiRodrigues to keep things calm in the middle & supporting @ImHarmanpreet who played an unbelievable knock to become 1st Indian women to score t20 hundred. I’m sure bowlers can pull things off from here— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) November 9, 2018
Brief Scores: India 194/5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Jemimah Rodrigues 59; Lea Tahuhu 2/18) vs New Zealand 160/9.
With Agency inputs