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Indian eves lose to NZ, World Cup chances in jeopardy
Posted on: 19-03-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

 After captain Jhulan Goswami won the toss and decided to bat first, India were all out for 207 in 49.4 overs. The team managed to cross 200 only for the second time in the tournament, thanks largely to Anjum Chopra`s 106-ball 52 and Reema Malhotra`s brisk 52-ball 59.

Opener Kate Pulford led New Zealand`s chase with an 89-ball 71 as the Kiwis romped to 210 for five wickets with 14 balls to spare.

Today`s loss leaves India, which had beaten defending champions Australia in their opening Super Six match, with two points from two matches.

India are ahead of New Zealand on net run-rate but can reach the final only if they beat West Indies in their final Super Six match and hope that New Zealand lose to Pakistan and Australia lose to England.

Coming in to bat first, India were dealt an early blow in the fourth over itself when Anagha Deshpande (8) edged a Kate Pulford delivery to wicketkeeper Rachel Priest. Priyanka Roy departed soon after (3), trapped LBW by Aimee Mason, to leave India, who beat Australia in their opening Super Six encounter, reeling at 26 for two.

In-form Mithali Raj (21) walked in to resurrect the innings with Anjum but the duo`s slow pace of scoring meant that the Indians managed just a little over 60 runs in the first 20 overs.

Mithali`s dismissal, caught by Priest off the bowling of medium pacer Sophie Divine, triggered another mini-collapse as Anjum, Rumeli Dhar (5) and skipper Jhulan Goswami (4) fell in quick succession, leaving India tottering at 126 for six in the 33rd over.

Reema Malhotra, however, held the other end and guided India to 153 by the 43rd over before being run out by Divine.

Reema smashed eight fours in her 52-ball innings that gave the much needed acceleration to Indian scoring.

Vice-captain Amita Sharma (14) and and Harmanpreet Kaur (13) then played out small cameos to take India to a respectable 207.

However, the Kiwi eves, who lost to India in the preliminary stage, made a solid start to their chase with openers Kate Pulford (71) and skipper Haidee Tiffin (23) putting on a 78-run stand.

Sravanthi Naidu trapped Tiffen in front of the wicket to give India the first breakthrough in the 18th over.

But the Kiwis rode on Pulford`s 89-ball innings that was studded with 10 fours and some fine middle-order contributions by Suzie Bates (47 not out) and Aimee Mason (23) to continue their unbeaten run.

Priyanka was the most successful of the Indian bowlers picking up a couple of wickets but her spell was rather expensive as she conceded 60 runs in her quota of 10 overs.

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