ev45ng0o shafali verma 625x300 14 December 22

Profile picture of Indian batsman Shafali Verma© AFP

They fell like a pack of cards in their Women’s T20 World Cup warm-up match in Cape Town on Monday, losing 44 runs to Australia, batting to disappoint India again. When called on, the Indian bowlers beat Australia’s top scorers but the 50-run partnership of trailing Georgia Wareham (32) and Jesse Jonathan (22) took Australia to eight 129 wins. In response, the Indian batsmen were knocked out for 85 balls in 15 overs.

It was the second batting in a row to disappoint India. The Lady in Blue suffered a similar debacle in last week’s three-series final South Africa. Pacers Darcie Brown (4/17) was the clearer as she cleared India’s top order, taking important scalps from Shafali Verma (2), Smriti Mandhana (0) and Richa Ghosh (5).

A miserable run by Jemimah Rodrigues started with Shafali, who continued her incapacity, while skipper Harmanpreet Kaur failed to bat.

Harleen Doel (12) showed some intent, hitting two fours before succumbing to runs, while Deepti Sharma was the top scorer as the all-rounder remained unbeaten for 19. If someone stays with her till the end.

Earlier, experienced pacer Shikha Pandey (2/9) batted in her first two overs to pack Australia captains Meg Lanning (0) and Tahlia McGrath (2).

Radha Yadav’s run meant the end for Ellyse Perry (1) as Australia trailed 10-3. Ash Gardner (22) and Beth Mooney (28) provided some resistance, but Pooja Vastrakar (2/16) and Radha Yadav (2/22) came through in the middle order.

Off-day Renuka Singh was India’s most expensive bowler, conceding 39 runs in three overs.

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But the couldn’t break the partnership between Wareham and Jonassen, who shared five fours and three sixes.

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...