In India’s first international match in more than four months, stingy bowling performances from Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma, followed by a quick fifty from Harmanpreet Kaur, set up a simple seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh.
India won the match with 22 balls remaining after restricting Bangladesh to 114 for 5. After Vastrakar and Deepti dried up the runs, Harmanpreet’s unbeaten 35-ball 54 and Smriti Mandhana’s 34-ball 38 sealed the victory for the visitors.
Bangladesh make a solid start under favorable bowling conditions
Harmanpreet didn’t hesitate to field first despite the weather being cloudy and the ground having a hint of green. Vastrakar’s choice to start with a maiden and notice the ample movement in the air proved to be the right one. Shamima Sultana was eliminated in the first round by Minnu Mani, one of the two India debutants. Despite receiving a four and a six off the previous two balls, Mani persisted in keeping the pace slow outside off. Sultana took too many shots and missed the hole at deep square leg.
As the hosts reached 46 for 1 after seven overs and began to appear confident, Shathi Rani, who was also making her debut for Bangladesh, struck Amanjot Kaur for three consecutive fours.
Bowlers struggle, but Shorna supports Bangladesh
Hamanpreet was quick to ring in the adjustments as the spinners found strong turn and bounce in addition to action from the quicks. Rani was roughed up by Vastrakar with a few bumpers before a rapid one was sent down to shake her stumps. As soon as Rani collapsed, the runs ceased altogether. Between overs eight and sixteen, when Bangladesh only managed one boundary, they also lost three wickets.As their run rate dropped to five per over, they were further hampered by captain Nigar Sultana’s unnecessary run-out. Vastrakar, the two debutants Mani and B Anusha, and Deepti all provided her with solid backing as she performed at her miserly best, varied her lengths and speeds.
India’s simple pursuit was set up by Harmanpreet and Mandhana.
Bangladesh’s defense of a tiny score got off to the best possible start when Marufa Akter trapped Shafali Varma in her first over after she played all around an in-dipper. Despite hitting a few well-placed fours, Sultana Khatun quickly had Jemimah Rodrigues out for 11.
However, Mandhana and Harmanpreet saw to it that the Bangladeshi celebrations were brief. After dismissing Rodrigues, Mandhana began his innings with a four past point in the second over before hitting Marufa for back-to-back fours either side of the wicket. As soon as six over were up, India had reached 41 for 2, and Harmanpreet also made a quick profit.
The pair added 70 off 55 balls for the third wicket by taking advantage of every loose ball, and there were many. India had the game in hand by the time Mandhana danced down the track and was caught for 38.
Harmanpreet, who was dropped on 24, did the final honours. She opened up her shoulders, smashing Rabeya Khan for a six and four, before bringing up her 11th T20I fifty off just 34 balls in the 17th over with a six over deep midwicket. The very next ball brought about the end of the game with Harmanpreet fittingly finishing things off with a four through midwicket again.