Nottingham: On a roll with consecutive wins in their last two matches, Indian eves will face an uphill task of disrupting the applecart of an unbeaten New Zealand when the two teams lock horns in the first semi-final of the women's Twenty20 World Cup here Thursday.
Shrugging off the opening match disappointment against England, India bounced back with two successive wins against Pakistan and Sri Lanka to seal their place in the semi-finals and skipper Jhulan Goswami hopes that her girls keep the momemtum going.
India's opening pair of Punam Raut and Anjum Chopra has not been able to give them a rollicking start. Although Anjum stood as a wall playing some good knocks, Raut struggled in her first match against England, scoring only four runs.
But the left-handed teen will take some confidence from her 41-ball 30-run knock in the last outing against Sri Lanka, which set the tone for India's five-wicket win.
The middle order also looks a bit shaky with batters crumbling under pressure while chasing paltry targets. Even in their last match against Sri Lanka, the middle-order fall like a house of cards before Mithali Raj saved India the blushes with a 22-ball 32 which eventually sealed their semifinal berth.
Among the bowlers, pace and spin combo of Rumeli Dhar and Priyanka Roy have provided India the breakthroughs, picking up crucial wickets. The duo have bagged five wickets each so far in the tournament.
However, skipper Jhulan Goswami's form has been a concern for the team as the right-handed pacer has so far failed to make an impact on the rival camps to remain wicket-starved in the tournament.
But spinner Gouher Sultana has contributed to the team's cause, chipping in whenever necessary and she would hope to do so once again tomorrow.
In contrast, New Zealand have kept a clean slate, winning all their matches against Australia, the West Indies, South Africa in the league matches.
Their batting have been in ominous form with openers Suzie Bates scoring bulk of the runs with her opening partner Lucy Doolan, who also contributed with the ball claiming four wickets in the tournament so far.
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