India rode on a belligerent maiden T20I century from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur to post the highest-ever total of 194/5 against New Zealand in the opening match of the Women's World T20 at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown on Friday.Women's World T20 2018 - Complete Schedule/Results
Kaur belted a 51-ball 103, laced with seven boundaries and eight sixes, and more importantly raised a record 134-run fourth wicket stand with the young Jemimah Rodrigues (59 off 45 balls; 4X7) to bail India out of a troubled start.
Kaur's 103 is only the third century in Women's WT20 history. Australia's Meg Lanning and West Indies' Deandra Dottin are the others to do so.
With this effort, the 29-year-old bettered the previous highest score by an Indian in women's T20Is, 97* by Mithali Raj against Malaysia earlier this year.
Kaur blasted 8 sixes during the knock, equaling the second-most in a women's T20I innings. The eight sixes in this innings are also the most by an Indian in T20Is. By doing so, the India skipper also beat her own record of five sixes which she hit against Sri Lanka in September.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, India found themselves in a vulnerable position, tottering at 40/3 by the sixth over, after losing the top three batswomen -- Taniya Bhatia (9), Smriti Mandhana (2) and Dayalan Hemalatha (15), cheaply.
Making her first appearance in a World T20, Jemimah controlled her nerves playing the perfect second fiddle to the fluent Kaur, who was at her aggressive best throughout the innings.
Kaur raced to a 33-ball 50 and in no time converted that to a magnificent century off only 49 deliveries.
Sensing the urgency of putting up a big total, Jemimah, towards the end also pressed on the accelerator to get to her half century off 40 balls.
New Zealand managed to get rid of the partnership with Jess Watkin getting the back of Jemimah and Sophie Devine dismissing Kaur, but by then the damage was done as India walked back with the highest ever total in a World T20 tie.
Chasing 195, New Zealand women could only manage 160/9 as India coasted to a 34-run victory.
Brief Scores: India 194/5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Jemimah Rodrigues 59; Lea Tahuhu 2/18) vs New Zealand 160/9.
With IANS inputs