India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur said the last few overs with the ball proved to be decisive in their 18-run loss of the one-off T20I against New Zealand on Wednesday. In a match where both teams didn’t put out their best eleven due to varying reasons, New Zealand emerged triumphant.
“We were in the game when we were bowling but unfortunately the last few overs didn’t go well for us,” said Harmanpreet in the post-match presentation ceremony. New Zealand were aided by Lea Tahuhu’s promotion to five, striking four fours and a six to help the hosts’ reach 155/5 in 20 overs.
Harmanpreet rued the fact that the partnerships didn’t come at a consistent rate to chase 156. “Even in batting we did not have partnerships but we have learnt a lot from this match and hope we will improve ourselves in the upcoming matches.”
After Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia had a 41-run opening partnership, India was unable to get hold of momentum in the chase. S Meghana made a quick 37 but the rest of the batters didn’t stick around and India ended at 137/8 in 20 overs.
Harmanpreet signed off by saying that playing the upcoming five-match ODI series at the John Davies Oval, the venue for the T20I match, will be helpful. “When we are playing in one venue, we can learn a lot. Playing in the same venue (for the ODIs) will definitely help us.”
The five ODIs serve as vital preparation for India ahead of the 2022 women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3.