Cricket

Poonam gets her wrong ’uns right

Wily: Poonam’s drift and loop have bamboozled the South Africans.

Wily: Poonam’s drift and loop have bamboozled the South Africans.  

Has been the star performer in the T20I series against South Africa

Poonam Yadav was beaming when she met reporters on Tuesday night. The leg-spinner had just won the Player-of-the-Match award in India’s 51-run victory over South Africa, finishing with figures of three for 13 from three overs.

For the second game in a row, the 27-year-old from Uttar Pradesh had come close to performing a hat-trick, picking up two wickets in as many balls.

In the thick of it

Poonam, who now has 79 scalps in T20Is and 63 in ODIs, has spearheaded the Indian spin attack in the series, taking five wickets so far. She said there was some help for the spinners from the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium pitch. “It is a sporting wicket,” she said. “It is assisting the batters as well.”

She, however, sounded disappointed that she could not complete the hat-trick in either match. “I had tried hard to get that third wicket on both occasions but could not,” she said. “As for this game, I had taken all my three wickets with googlies, but I didn’t want to give away a boundary with my hat-trick ball. So I had to bowl accordingly.”

She said it felt great to play in front of big crowds. “There was so much noise that the players could not hear each other even when we were sitting close,” she said. “We have never played in front of crowds like the ones here at Surat. They have given us so much love and that has helped us play better.”

Delighted, surprised

South African captain Sune Luus said her team, too, was delighted to see so many fans turning up. “I expected a crowd, but not 20,000 people,” she said.

She admitted that the team’s poor fielding, which saw half-a-dozen catches being dropped, proved costly. “It was just a bad day at office,” she said. “It was not because the lack of training (due to rain) nor had it to do with the noise the crowd was making. One dropped catch led to another. We usually set high standards in fielding, but not this time unfortunately.”

About her decision to bowl first, despite that strategy failing in the previous match, Luus said it had to do with the weather. “We didn’t know what would be a good score on this wicket,” she said. “We were also confident because we are a good chasing side.”

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:27:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/poonam-gets-her-wrong-uns-right/article29576993.ece

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