Friday, June 19, 2009

Watkins lifts New Zealand inside the women’s final

England (AFP) — Skipper Aimee Watkins led New Zealand into the final of the women's World Twenty20 by a rousing 52-run win over India here on Thursday.

Watkins, who won the toss and elected to bat at Trent Bridge, smashed an unbeaten 89 off 58 balls as the White Ferns scored 145-5 also then restricted India to 93-9 at Trent Bridge.
The New Zealand captain's score was higher than the men's best of 88 in West Indian captain
Chris Gayle against Australia in their ongoing World Twenty20.

India, hoping to make up for the absence of the men's team from the semi-finals, managed now four runs more than Watkins' own contribution as wickets tumbled at regular intervals.
Amita Sharma top-scored for the Indians with 24 off 27 balls, hitting the only six of the innings, as opener Mithali Raj made 20.

Eight Indians failed to reach double figures since Sian Ruck and Amy Satterthwaite picked up two wickets each.

Watkins plundered 10 boundaries and two sixes even while none of her team-mates managed to reach 20.

Watkins also Sophie Devine (14 not out) added 25 runs from the last 12 balls, including a six by Watkins off the final delivery of the innings by Rumeli Dhar.

Asked if Thursday's effort was her best batting performance, Watkins replied: "I've played some good innings, so I can't really say. But this would be one of my best."
India captain Jhulan Goswami said: "Aimee Watkins played superbly and 145 be a good performance. We tried to restrict them to less than 130 but the openers didn?t give us a good start."

Team manager Diana Edulji said there is much to work on for the future.
"Our fielding is on the weaker side but we took some good catches and there was a good run-out today. We have learned a lot from this experience and will take plenty of positives out of the tournament."

New Zealand, who had also entered the final of the 50-overs-a-side World Cup into Australia in March where they lost to England, has won all their four matches so far.
They await the winner of Friday's second semi-final between Australia and England at the Oval during Sunday's final at Lord's.