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).