Tight bowling by Indian spinners coupled with a half-century from Shafali Verma helped Women in Blue defeat Bangladesh in their Women’s Asia Cup 2022 match at Sylhet on Saturday.
Chasing 160, openers Fargana Hoque and Murshida Khatun put Bangladesh to a solid start. The duo adopted a cautious approach against a strong bowling attack of India.
In contrast to India’s hard-hitting powerplay, Bangladesh put up 30/0 in their first six overs, with Hoque (18*) and Khatun (11*) at the crease. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking until spinner Sneh Rana intervened to send back Khatun for 21 off 25 balls. The batter was caught by short cover.
Bangladesh was reduced to 45/1 in 9.1 overs. Captain Nigar Sultana was next up on the crease. Hoque and her took the team into the second half of the innings without any further damage.
In the 14th over, it was spin doing the trick once again for India as Deepti Sharma sent back Hoque for a disappointing 30 off 40 balls after being caught by Rana at long on. Bangladesh was at 68/2 in 13.4 overs.
Few balls later, Rumana Ahmed’s stay at crease was ended within three balls due to a run out by Deepti. Bangladesh was at 69/3 in 14.3 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, Bangladesh was at 70/3 with Ritu Moni (0*) joining Nigar (18*). They needed 90 runs in 30 balls. Ritu struggled to get going and was dismissed by pacer Renuka Singh for 4 off 12 balls. Shafali continued her good day on the field, taking out Nigar for 36 off 29 balls after she was stumped by Richa Ghosh.
At this point, half of the Bangladesh lineup was back in the hut for 94 runs in 18.2 overs. Shafali and Deepti added one more scalp each to their tally, dismissing Fahima Khatun (1), Lata Mondal (1). Bangladesh was at 95/7 in 19.1 overs. Bangladesh finished their innings at 100/7 in 20 overs, with Nahida Akter (0*) and Salma Khatun (5*). They lost the match by 59 runs.
Shafali (2/10) and Deepti (2/13) led Indian bowling from the front with their spin. Sneh Rana and Renuka took one wicket each.
Earlier, a half-century from Shafali Verma and a 96-run stand with Smriti Mandhana powered India to a competitive 159/5 in their 20 overs against Bangladesh in their Women’s Asia Cup 2022 match at Sylhet on Saturday.
Batting first, Team India was off to a good start. Openers skipper Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma were dealing in boundaries, taking on Bangladesh bowlers with the attacking mindset they both are known for.
At the end of the powerplay in six overs, India was at 59/0, with Mandhana (31*) and Verma (26*) at the crease. The scoreboard kept ticking and both batters entered their 40s. At the end of 10 overs, India was at 91/0, with both batters at 44* each.
After 12 overs, the 96-run stand between Mandhana and Verma was broken after the former was run out for 47 off 38 balls. Jemimah Rodrigues was the next batter on the crease. Shafali brought a confidence-boosting half-century, her first in 20 T20Is since March 2021. The batter hit a nice boundary over deep midwicket, but was dismissed for 55 off 44 balls after being bowled by spinner Rumana Ahmed. India was at 114/2 at this point in 14.5 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, India was at 115/2. Rumana’s brilliant bowling helped Bangladesh make a comeback in the match, taking the wickets of Richa Ghosh (4) and Kiran Navgire (0). Four of India’s batters were back in the hut at 125 runs in 17 overs. Rodrigues, who was keeping one end steady all this while, was joined by Deepti Sharma.
The duo helped India gather 29 more runs before Salma Khatun dismissed Deepti for 10 off 5 balls after being caught by Sanjida Akter at short third man. Pooja Vastrakar joined Rodrigues for the last few balls. India finished at 159/5 in 20 overs, with Rodrigues (35*) and Pooja Vastrakar (1*). Rumana (3/27) was the leading bowler for Bangladesh. Khatun also got 1/16 in her three overs.
Brief Scores: India: 159/5 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 55, Smriti Mandhana 47, Rumana Ahmed 3/27) won against Bangladesh: 100/7 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 36, Fargana Hoque 30, Shafali Verma 2/10) by 59 runs.