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ICC Women's T20 WC: Ex-cricketers, celebs hail Poonam as IND beats AUS

Making a comeback after injury, Yadav took four wickets, and almost a hat-trick, to help India defend a low total of 132

BS Web Team & Agencies 

ICC Women's T20 World Cup, India cricket team, India vs Australia
ICC Women's T20 World Cup. Photo: AP | PTI

The started its ICC Women’s World Cup 2020 campaign with a bang, stunning defending champions Australia by 17 runs. Playing her comeback match, Indian leggie Poonam Yadav bowled a magical spell to outwit mighty Australians.

Put in to bat first, India struggled initially and put up a sub-par total of 132 on the board. But Poonam’s four-wicket haul at the expense of only 19 runs in her quota of 4 overs broke the back of Australia’s chase. She foxed the Aussies with her googlies, turning the match decisively in her team's favour.

After a successful start of India’s World Cup campaign, former captain Diana Edulji hailed the team’s effort but also raised concerns over batters’ performance. Batswomen needed to step up, she emphasised. "Great win. Congratulations. Well bowled Poonam Yadav. Batters have to come to the party too. 170-plus score a must. Go India get the Cup home," news agency IANS quoted Edulji as saying.

Poonam Yadav, ICC Womens world Cup

Poonam Yadav in ICC Women's T20 world Cup opener against Australia. Photo: AP | PTI

Poonam Yadav’s comeback

Yadav took four wickets – and almost completed a hat-trick –to help India successfully defend a low target of 133. Suffering from injuries in the build-up to the tournament, she came back strongly and thanked her physio and teammates for helping her get back to match fitness in time for the World Cup. "My physio and my teammates supported me a lot when I was injured. I had bowled well against Australia here in the past, so I wanted to continue that," she said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Yadav dismissed Rachael Haynes and Australia's star all-rounder Elysse Perry off consecutive balls and then almost took a hat-trick, but Taniya Bhatia dropped Jess Jonassen in what was a rare mistake from the wicketkeeper. "This is the third time that I didn't get a hat-trick. I am thankful to my teammates as it is not easy to come back after an injury," she said.

Former cricketers and celebrities hailed India’s victory and Yadav’s contribution in the win.

Several legends of the game, including Virender Sehwag, V V S Laxman, Mithali Raj and celebrities Anushka Sharma and Taapsee Pannu, congratulated the team.

First Published: Fri, February 21 2020. 19:46 IST