Three wins in three games, India have qualified for the semi-final. They have been playing at a different level, despite their batting misfiring. New Zealand, meanwhile, have to regroup quickly. In all likelihood, the trans-Tasmanian rivalry - Australia versus New Zealand clash - would decide the second semi-finalist from Group A.
Harmanpreet Kaur: "It's a great feeling when the team does well. Have learnt a lot in the last three days. We did the same mistake in the middle phase after getting a good start. We didn't carry the momentum. We will focus on those things and try to do our best. We bowled well in practise and we need to focus on that areas. Can't afford silly mistakes going into the tough phase. Shafali is giving us good start and I hope she continues that."
Sophie Devine: "We were fantastic with the ball, especially after the start given by Shafali Verma. We expected the track to be a bit pacier and bouncier but then had to adjust. I think the way the team played today was fantastic. Maddy Green, Katey Martin and Amelia Kerr played brilliantly to get us close. I think we can take a lot of positives. The bowlers did a fantastic job of restricting them and then our lower order did well to score in the final five overs. Can't sulk about this loss."
It was too close in the end but India held their nerves to pip New Zealand. It was yet again the spinners, given that there were four of them, who helped restrict the Kiwi batters. But full credit to Shikha Pandey for delivering the final over the way she did. All the Indian bowlers picked up a wicket each.
New Zealand's batting surely let them down. They were in it only because of the 43-run partnership between Maddy Green and Katey Martin and then because of Amelia Kerr who played a blinder - 34 not out off just 19. We'll hear from the captains soon...
Shafali Verma: I'm happy, I want to give India good starts and win games for India. I waited for the loose balls and focused on ones and twos. All credit to my dad and my academy for helping me practice.
New Zealand 129/6 in 20 overs, lost by 4 runs.
Shikha Pandey held her nerves in her final over, despite Hayley Jensen getting a lucky inside edge past leg stump for a four. Amelia Kerr then cleverly ramped one over short third man for another four to get the equation down to five needed off one ball.
But Pandey fired one well outside off, to which Kerr couldn't do much as she had moved across to exploit the region behind square on the leg side.
New Zealand 188/5 in 19 overs, need 16 in 6.
Amelia Kerr managed to hit four fours in the penultimate over of the innings by Poonam Yadav. She hit two fours over short fine leg while two through the off side. Poonam has gone for 18 in her final over.
Sensational from Amelia Kerr. Has cracked the game open by taking on the best legspinner in women’s cricket currently. #T20WorldCup— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) February 27, 2020
New Zealand 90/5 in 16.3 overs, need 44 more.
Radha Yadav extends her run of picking at least one wicket in a match to 22 games now. She tosses one up, Katey Martin charges down and hits it straight down deep mid-wicket's throat where Jemimah Rodrigues takes it comfortably. She goes for 25.
We have spoken a lot about Poonam Yadav, but Radha Yadav has been very impressive too. Useful runs, finishes her over as quickly asJadeja, and fields just as well. Very good selection right from the outset #NZWvINDW #nzvsind #T20WorldCup #staraikelungal @StarSportsTamil— Arun Venugopal (@scarletrun) February 27, 2020
Just a ball ago, Martin was successful in bisecting the gap between deep square leg and deep mid-wicket for a four.
New Zealand 77/4 in 14.2 overs, need 57 in 34.
Maddy Green and Katey Martin have already added 43 runs and are managing to to hit at least one four in a over. Shikha Pandey's over went for just six, though.
That meant pressure transferred to the Kiwis. Seeing a tossed up ball, Green charged down to ton Rajeshwari Gayakwad, but only managed to get a feather behind. Taniya Bhatia did the rest to end her stay for 24.
New Zealand 55/3 in 11 overs.
Nine runs came off Rajeshwari Gayakwad's over. First, Katey Martin cut one fiercely through point for a boundary before Maddy Green swept one firmly through fine leg.
Meanwhile, Nasser Hussain catches up with New Zealand's coach, Bob Carter: "Devine's got out but we need to take it as deep as we can. We need to keep these two going and then see. I actually thought we fielded well. Maddy made couple of good efforts. Our bowlers came back well and restricted them to a decent total. We have our own leg spinner in Kerr. We have practiced for her let’s see. Devine's batting has been outstanding her captaincy is also has been so. I am enjoying the new role and the girls have been really good to work with."
New Zealand 46/1 in 10 overs, need 88 more.
Maddy Green has managed to hit a four on the last ball of the tenth over, getting one past square leg. However, the going has been slow for the Kiwis since the Smash Sisters' departure. At the same stage, India were 75/2.
New Zealand 34/3 in 8.1 overs, need 100 in 71.
Sophie Devine's run of six successive fifty-plus scores comes to an end. It was a juicy full toss from Poonam Yadav. But Devine charges down and looks to go over the in-field, ends up miscuing one to Radha Yadav at covers.
Radha's first over did play a part in the fall, as she bowled five consecutive dot balls against Devine. On the last ball she managed to take a run, finally.
New Zealand 30/2 in 5.4 overs.
Deepti Sharma picks up her 50th T20I wicket and it's the big one of Suzie Bates. The Kiwi batter walks across and tries to exploit the fine leg region. But Sharma fires it in and the ball deflects off Bates' pads onto the stumps.
New Zealand 18/1 in 3 overs, need 116 more.
Sophie Devine is taking her time to get her eye in. She just managed to trickle Rajeshwari Gayakwad's ball away to the fine leg fence. She has her Smash Sister Suzie Bates for company.
New Zealand 13/1 in 1.4 overs.
Rachel Priest's stay in the middle ends. She looks to hoick Shikha Pandey to the on side, ends up getting a top edge. Radha Yadav settles under it at mid-wicket and takes it safely. Priest goes for 12.
New Zealand 12/0 in 1 over.
Rachel Priest gets New Zealand underway with a couple of fours. First, she cuts a short one past point before a powerful sweep in front of square on the leg side.
It was a positive beginning for India, who yet again owe it to Shafali Verma’s exploits at the top. She made 46 and was unlucky to miss out on her half century. But once Taniya Bhatia fell after having a 51-run stand with Verma, it all went pear-shaped for India.
Amelia Kerr and Rosemary Mair applied the stranglehold and stopped India from running away with the game. Their spells along with Leigh Kasperek’s inflicted a collapse. However given India’s bowling attack, this could be a tricky chase. Back soon!
Leigh Kasperek: "Yeah we did really well to pull it back and it was a good effort. We did not talk about targets just wanted to keep it simple. Shafali Verma is really strong on front foot and so we kept it short and wanted to keep her on her toes. We can never underestimate Indian spinners. Fingers crossed, we can chase it down."
India 133/8 in 20 overs.
It was a poor second half for India, who lost 43/6 in the middle phase. As a result, India perhaps finished with much less than what looked promising.
Radha Yadav's cameo of 14 off 9, including a six in the last over, helped India get over 130.
India 104/6 in 15.3 overs.
Wickets continue to fall for India, with Veda Krishnamurthy walking back now. New Zealand made use of the DRS to get the decision in their favour. Krishnamurthy got down to play the sweep against Amelia Kerr but missed. Was trapped in front. Just 6 runs for her today.
India 100/5 in 15 overs.
Maddy Green isn't having the best of days on the field. Deepti Sharma slogs one towards deep mid-wicket, where despite doing the hardwork, failed to hold on.
Leigh Kasperek was the unfortunate bowler, who gives away just four runs in her third over.
India 93/5 in 13.5 overs.
That's the big fish Amelia Kerr has netted. Shafali Verma wasn't getting much strike and nor the pace to work with. That meant she tried to break the shackles and fell. Looked to go inside out to get to her fifty but found Hayley Jensen in the deep. 46 for Verma then...
India 93/4 in 13 overs.
Third successive single-digit score for Harmanpreet Kaur as she chips one straight to Leigh Kasperek. Just one run for the Indian skipper, then...
India 90/3 in 12 overs.
Shafali Verma slaps one straight over Rosemary Mair's head for half a dozen, moving to 44.
Meanwhile Ian Bishop has a chat with Smriti Mandhana: "I think we got a good start, Taniya did well. We are in a good position. I'm feeling much better from yesterday. It's a good wicket to bat on, we played the tri-series as well. It has good pace on it. We're quite positive with the kind of cricket we've played recently. Really positive about the game and hopefully we win. Right now the way it's going anything above 150 should be good. Hopefully today's the day Harman fires. She's been batting well in the nets."
India 80/3 in 11.1 overs.
Jemimah Rodrigues aims in one direction and the ball went in the other. She goes for 10. It was a full ball by Rosemary Mair down the leg side, Rodrigues looked to flick it away. Ended up getting a leading edge towards short third man. Amelia Kerr ran to her left from backward point and took it safely.
India 68/2 in 9.1 overs.
Rosemary Mair gets the breakthrough, ending the 51-run stand between Shafali Verma and Taniya Bhatia. She lands it short and wide, Bhatia cuts it straight to Amelia Kerr at backward point for 23. Perhaps, she has done her bit...
India 60/1 in 8 overs.
Hayley Jensen almost got rid of Shafali Verma. The Indian batter flat-batted one towards long-on. Maddy Green got there and managed to get a hand to it as well, but couldn't hang on.
India 46/1 in 5 overs.
This Shafali Verma is a talent. Anna Peterson, bowling the penultimate over of the power play, managed to give away just one run in her first four balls. But the last two balls were thumped for biggies by Verma to ensure 13 runs are taken off it. She is on 24 in just 13 balls.
16-year-olds have no right to be this good... #T20WorldCup— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) February 27, 2020
India 33/1 in 4 overs.
Taniya Bhatia managed to get a boundary on the last ball of the third over, clipping one off her pads against Lea Tahuhu.
But Sophie Devine turned up and almost bowled an economical first over, before Shafali Verma clobbered a short one over mid-wicket for a four. Nine runs came off it.
India 17/1 in 2.2 overs.
India were flying on a high, taking 10 off the second over with both Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma hitting a four each off Rosemary Mair.
But Lea Tahuhu struck. She bowled it full outside off, Mandhana looked to glide it to third man away from the body. Ended up chopping it on. She could make only 11.
India 5/0 in 1 over.
Lea Tahuhu begins the game with her high-paced bowling, delivering them around the 120kph mark. Shafali Verma gets going by guiding one to third man. Smriti Mandhana opens the boundary count by chipping one over covers for four.
Ian Bishop: "The wind is very strong, so if you’re hitting with the wind, it’s good. If you’re going to bowl straight, you have to bowl at a back of a length. The spinners will get some grip because of the cracks on the surface. There are some cracks at the other end. Don’t know if it will come into play though."
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl.
Sophie Devine: "Fresh wicket, with a little bit of rain around. We certainly discussed as a batting unit, sticking to the strengths and not getting carried away. It can be a fickle game, just aim to carry on doing well as much as I can."
Harmanpreet Kaur: "We wanted to bat first anyway. Smriti and Radha come in for Arundhati and Richa Ghosh. We need to do well in batting. We are not able to get the expected runs between overs 6 and 14 and today will try to rectify. I have been struggling in the last two games, today I'm feeling good."
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
New Zealand: Sophie Devine(c), Rachel Priest(w), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Anna Peterson, Leigh Kasperek, Lea Tahuhu, Rosemary Mair
Hello and a warm welcome to all of you, wherever you are joining us from. If you're joining us from New Zealand, it's a nice time to have a cup of tea and a savoury evening snack, if you're in Melbourne, you might have finished with your lunch and it's time to sit back and relax. Well English folks, you might have to skip your sleep - but irrespective of what you do, you would do well to not miss this clash - India versus New Zealand.
India would be a step closer to the semi-final if they are to win this while the Kiwis are also on a winning run, having beaten Sri Lanka in their opening clash. These two teams last played a T20I game at the start of 2019 and the result wasn't a memorable one for the Indians. What will happen today in Melbourne? Stay with me, S. Sudarshanan, as I bring to you all the updates about the game.