India beats Bangladesh by seven wickets in first women’s T20I

Set a target of 114, India overhauled the target in 16.2 overs, scoring 118 for three, with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur making an unbeaten 35-ball 54.

Published : Jul 09, 2023 17:09 IST , MIRPUR - 3 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored an unbeaten 35-ball 54.
FILE PHOTO: India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored an unbeaten 35-ball 54. | Photo Credit: AFP

FILE PHOTO: India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored an unbeaten 35-ball 54. | Photo Credit: AFP

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur started the new international season with a smashing half-century as the Indian women’s team cantered to a seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening T20 International here on Sunday.

The Indian spinners opted to bowl first and used the conditions to their advantage, restricting Bangladesh to a meagre 114 for five.

In reply, Harmanpreet (54 not out off 35 balls) and her deputy Smriti Mandhana (38 off 34 balls) added 70 runs for the third wicket to chase down the target in just 16.2 overs.

Also Read: INDW vs BANW 1st T20I Highlights

The skipper hit six boundaries and two sixes and made the best use of the two reprieves that she got off left-arm spinner Nahida Akter’s bowling.

Mandhana was the pace-setter for India as she hit some delectable boundaries, five of them in all, including a rasping square-cut off seamer Marufa Akter and an inside-out lofted cover-drive. They were shots out of the top drawer.

This was after the Indian bowlers set it up perfectly for the batters, who had to hardly break a sweat while chasing down an easy target.

The spin attack, led by the experienced Deepti Sharma (0/14 in 4 overs), along with debutants - slow left-arm orthodox Anusha Bareddy (0/24 in 4 overs) and off-break bowler Minnu Manni (1/21 in 3 overs) - executed Harmanpreet’s plan of bowling on one side of the wicket perfectly.

READ | Meet Minnu Mani, Kerala’s first-ever entrant in Indian women’s team

Leg-spinner Shafali Verma (1/18 in 3 overs) was also mostly on target, save a six that top-scorer Sorna Akter (28 off 28 balls) hit off her bowling.

The idea was to pack the off-side field with five fielders and bowl on the fourth or fifth off-stump line, and the Bangladeshi batters, mostly right-handers, found it difficult to pierce the cordon.

This was after debutant Minnu Mani got her maiden wicket when Shamima Sultana (17) couldn’t connect her slog sweep, and Jemimah Rodrigues took a smart catch at square-leg.

Pooja Vastrakar then softened Shathi Rani (22) with a short ball before castling her with a perfect fuller delivery.

The experienced Nigar Sultana (2) was run-out, and Shafali tossed one up to get rid of Shobhana Mostary (23 off 33 balls), who was getting increasingly frustrated.

In fact, Bangladesh consumed as many as 62 dot balls which are more than half of the innings, with only eight fours and three sixes in all. Two of those hits by Sorna ensured that the host crossed the 100-run mark.

When India started the chase, Shafali paid the price for her lack of footwork as she was adjudged plumb in front while being rooted to the crease.

Rodrigues was played on when she tried to cut an off-break from Sultana Khatun.

However, once Harmanpreet and Mandhana joined forces, there was hardly any concern for the winning team.

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