Raj, Goswami impress but India Women falls short by 17 runs in first warm-up game
Sarah McGlashan (34) and Katie Perkins (40) chipped in at a vital time to help New Zealand post a competitive 138 for 9 after being sent in to bat. In reply, Raj made an unbeaten 53 as India briefly entertained thoughts of victory, but it slipped backwards after she retired hurt. The chase ended abruptly as India then crawled to 121 for 8 in its allotted 20 overs.
New Zealand would have hoped for a strong start with the bat ahead of a tough opener against Australia, the defending champions, on March 23. But Goswami gave India the early breakthrough in the third over as Sam Curtis was dismissed for a first-ball duck. Suzie Bates, the captain, fell in the next over to Shikha Pandey for 13.
When Sophie Devine, an aggressive batter, was bowled by Goswami for 5 in the fifth over, New Zealand was in trouble at 27 for 3. But McGlashan brought her experience of 55 T20Is to the fore as she forged a 66-run stand for the fourth wicket with Perkins to resurrect the innings.
McGlashan's 38-ball knock wasn't all about rebuilding alone. In between, she hit two fours and a six. Complementing her at the other end was Perkins, who hit six fours to strike at more than a run a ball before falling to Goswami in the 18th over. By then, New Zealand had already established a firm footing.
Raj led India's brisk reply as the openers put together 26 in four overs. But Morna Nielsen's triple strike in the space of three overs left India reeling at 39 for 3, with Pandey and Poonam Raut dismissed for ducks. Raj held her own, hitting seven fours and a six in her 47-ball 53, but her decision to retire hurt once again paved way for a lower middle-order collapse.
Harmanpreet Kaur, who walked in to bat at No. 7, fought valiantly with a quick-fire 27, but the lower order collapse left her with too much ground to cover. While Nielsen dented India upfront, Frances McKay and Hayley Jensen, the medium pacers, complemented her by picking two wickets apiece.
India takes on Ireland in its second and final warm-up fixture on 21 March, while New Zealand will wrap up its pre-tournament preparations with a match against England on the same day. Both matches will be played in Savar.