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Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 15:50 UK

Watkins guides NZ women to final

ICC Women's World Twenty20 semi-final, Trent Bridge:
New Zealand 145-5 beat India 93-9 by 52 runs
Match scorecard

By Oliver Brett

Aimee Watkins
Watkins' innings put New Zealand's total out of reach for India

New Zealand skipper Aimee Watkins struck an unbeaten 89 as her team beat India by 52 runs in the semi-finals of the ICC Women's World Twenty20.

Left-hander Watkins hit her runs off 58 balls, registering the third best score in women's Twenty20 internationals.

She took her team to 145-5 and India never threatened to chase it, finishing on 93-9 with Amita Sharma, who hit their only six, top-scoring with 24.

England will face Australia in the other semi-final at The Oval on Friday.

New Zealand skipper Watkins, always looking for the aerial hit through the off-side off the seam bowlers, put Jhulan Goswami away over point for a couple of early boundaries.

Two more meaty blows from the left-hander off the final powerplay over took New Zealand to 32-1 after six.

Harmanpreet Kaur's stunning catch at mid-off ended Suzie Bates's innings, but Watkins continued to make good progress.

Her seventh boundary came with a textbook square-drive along the deck off Kaur, before India switched to spin after nine overs.


In the 14th over, Watkins went to her half-century, and at the end of it New Zealand still had six wickets in hand, on a total of 87.

Watkins now upped the tempo, hitting two slog-sweeps for four off consecutive balls bowled by the left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana.

She overtook her unbeaten 73 against Australia earlier in the tournament when the last ball of the Sultana over was muscled over the deep square-leg rope for six. And Claire Taylor's tournament best of 75 was also surpassed.

Sophie Devine clubbed Dhar's slower ball for another six in the final over, and the last ball disappeared for another Watkins maximum - leaving her a tantalising 11 runs shy of the first century in women's Twenty20 internationals.

Devine and Sian Ruck quickly put India's batsmen under pressure with a series of full-length straight deliveries - also finding a bit of swing - and the required rate mounted.

By the time Ruck had bowled Kaur with the first ball of her final over, India were 31-3 in the eighth over, needing nine an over to win.

It was too much even for the experienced right-hander Mithali Raj, who holed out at long-on off the spin of Satterthwaite for 20 - and the task became a hopeless one for India.

There were occasional boundaries, well struck ones too, but not nearly enough - and none of New Zealand's bowlers were put under pressure.

The White Ferns also took their catches well, and will provide formidable opposition to Australia or England in Sunday's final at Lord's.

Coach Gary Stead described Watkins's batting as "outstanding" and added: "For a women cricketer to achieve that on the big stage first up is a pretty special thing to do."

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see also
England women set up Aussie clash
16 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
New Zealand continue winning run
15 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
England women qualify for semis
14 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
Pakistan women outplayed by India
13 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
New Zealand women outplay Aussies
12 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
Aussie women stop England short
09 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
Women's World Twenty20 2009
21 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket

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