Birthday special: Poonam Yadav – Top 3 bowling spells of her career

India Women's Team

Poonam Yadav, the talented leg-spinner of the Indian team turns 31-year-old today (Wednesday, 24th of August). With Mithali Raj retired and Jhulan Goswami on the verge of retiring, Poonam is one of the senior-most players of the squad. Representing India in 131 matches, the veteran from Agra picked up 181 wickets so far.

The leggie also holds the record of most consecutive four-wicket hauls in women’s T20 Internationals. She has also recorded the best economy by a bowler in women’s T20Is. She has an economy of 5.75 in T20Is and 3.97 in ODIs. The birthday girl has shown multiple glimpses of her class and on her birthday, we look back to three of her spells that spellbound the cricketing fraternity.

3. 4/13 vs. Sri Lanka, Visakhapatnam, 3rd ODI, 2014

Even after putting up 229 on board, India wasn’t in a comfortable seat as Lasanthi Madushani and Chamari Atapattu were fighting it out in the middle. Dot balls piled up the pressure and that is when captain Mithali Raj introduced Poonam into the attack.

The leggie picked up 4 wickets and took the wickets of Lasanthi Madushani, Shashikala Siriwardene, Udeshika Prabodhani and Chandima Gunaratne to break Sri Lanka’s backbone. She gave away just 13 runs in her 10 overs.

Sri Lanka were bundled out for 134 runs in the match as team India registered a mammoth victory of 95 runs. Captain Mithali Raj’s 104 came handy for the team.

2. 4/19 vs. Australia, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, Sydney, 2020

It is never an easy task to face Australia in any format of the game. Thus, playing one of your best games against a quality opponent is always special. 

In the 2020 T20 World Cup, Australia were clearly the favourites to win it but after a brilliant spell from Poonam Yadav, the tables turned. Batting first, India put up a total of 132 runs after 20 overs. Deepti Sharma scored 49 and that was the highest individual score from an Indian.

Alyssa Healy in the 2nd innings was looking very dangerous. The Australian scored a half-century and was taking the game away from the Indians and that is when Poonam Yadav stepped up. She picked up the wickets of Healy, Racheal Haynes, Elysse Perry and Jess Jonassen to shift the game in India’s favour.

Courtesy of her four-wicket haul, India won the match at Spotless Stadium in Sydney which eventually was the first match of the tournament.

3. 4/9 vs. Bangladesh, Twenty20 Asia Cup Final, Kuala Lumpur, 2018

Even though India lost the finals of the Asia Cup in 2018, Poonam Yadav’s performance was brilliant to say the least. India struggled right from the start as no other batter apart from Harmanpreet Kaur stepped up to put on a show.

Kaur scored 56 off 42 balls as India posted only 112 runs after 20 years. There was a lot of pressure on the bowlers to get the job done and they were very close as Bangladesh hit the winning runs in the final ball of the match.

Poonam Yadav was the showstopper for India with the ball. She picked up all the four wickets of their top order but again other than Harmanpreet, no one contributed much. Yadav gave away just 9 runs as India lost the Asia Cup by 3 wickets. Despite the loss, her performance is considered as one of her best performances in international cricket.