A quickfire 46 from teenage prodigy Shafali Verma helped India earn a nail-biting four-run win over New Zealand as they reached the women's Twenty20 World Cup semifinals Thursday.
New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine won the toss at Melbourne's Junction Oval and opted to bowl with her team restricting India to 133 for eight after Verma gave them a strong start, with three sixes and four fours off her 34 balls.
But the New Zealand batswomen narrowly missed their target despite a swashbuckling late charge by Amelia Kerr leaving them at 129 for six.
"It's a great feeling when your team performs day in day out," said skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, after India become the first team into the last four.
"But we still made the same mistakes after a good first 10 overs -- we got a good start but couldn't carry the momentum. We can't make silly mistakes with harder games coming up."
After opening their campaign by upsetting four-time champions Australia, India beat Bangladesh and their New Zealand victory made it three from three to ensure a semi-final berth for the second successive tournament.
Scores in brief
India: 133 for 8 in 20 overs (Shafali 46, Bhatia 23, Yadav 14; Mair 2-27, Kerr 2-21)
New Zealand: 130 for 6 in 20 overs (Devine 14, Green 24, Martin 25, Kerr 34 not out; Pandey 1-21)
Result: India women won by 3 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Shafali Verma.