Hello and welcome to the live coverage of India's tour of Sri Lanka. This is Lavanya Lakshminarayanan and I will take you through the updates from the 1st T20I between the two sides in Dambulla on Thursday.
Jemimah Rodrigues is the Player of the Match : I don't know, it is more about the pitch, where I stay in Mumbai, the pitches are similar, so I am used to to playing in these conditions.
On Sri Lanka: I love this country, it is a very beautiful country. It is a privilege to come here and the love we are getting from the board is great.
IND captain Harmanpreet Kaur: sometimes you plan and it does not go that way. But credit to players who pulled the game, especially Jemi, the way she batted and later the bowlers too were superb. As a unit, we definitely need to utilise the first six overs better. We were losing a lot of wickets.
On being in Sri Lanka: Everything is great, and we are really looking forward, especially with what is happening the country, we are happy to see people come out and support us and supprt from the Board. We're happy to be playing here.
SL captain Chamari Athapaththu : We dropped couple of catches, of Harmanpreet which were crucial. The last over by Kaveesha was also a reason. In the power play we were not batting our best, we played a lot of dot balls and that is the reason we lost the match. The total was chaseable, we had to stick with a plan and have to play positive cricket in the coming matches.
Let's listen in to the captains
INNINGS SUMMARY: Chasing 139 to win, Sri Lanka never truly got going in the second innings. Relying far too much on Chamari Athapaththu, the approach was too cautious from the host. Chamari took time to open up, which stalled the run flow and eventually holed out without making too big a contribution to the chase. The rest of the order struggled to do what the skipper is known to do, an age old problem facing Sri Lankan cricket. Kavisha Dilhari, who dropped a catch and gave away 20 runs in the final over of the Indian innings, tried to make amends for the costs on the field and managed a career best 47*. But Sri Lanka was left with too much to do in too little time and no one could really take on the Indian bowling lineup. With just two extras conceded, India was extremely disciplined, despite dropping a few easy catches themselves. Reducing dot balls and a better strike rotation will be priorities before these two teams go again in the 2nd T20i on Saturday.
SL 104/5 (20 overs): Renuka Singh will bookend the innings. Sanjeewani and Kaveesha go on the offensive, with nothing to lose. Sanjeewani gets FOUR going past short fine leg. Kaveesha smashes the shot of the innings so far, going over the mid-off fielder's head for a boundary and is just four runs short of a maiden fifty. But she will settle for 47* as Renuka's smart yorker allows her only a single. India wins!
47 runs needed by Sri Lanka in 6 balls.
SL 92/5 (19 overs): Kaveesha Dilhari is eyeing her maiden T20i half century.
Anushka Sanjeewani is the new batter in and 53 runs are needed off 12 balls. 61 dot balls are there against Sri Lanka in this game. BIG point of concern.
SL 86/5 (18 overs): Shafali Verma comes on. This time, Kanchana plays aggressor going over the fielder's head at mid-off for FOUR . Chance right in the next delivery as the ball travels to Meghana who got the positioning all wrong. Missed wicket opportunity. A stumping opportunity follows but Kanchana grounds her bat, seemingly. Oh hold on, replays show she has not. She is there, but her leg is a few inches away and that bat is in the air. Nice job by Richa here. Shafali Verma gets her first wicket of the day with Kanchana falling while trying to go big. WICKETAma Kanchana st Ghosh b Shafali Verma 11 (10b 1x4 0x6)
60 runs. 18 balls. Too much to do. Too little time.
SL 79/4 (17 overs): Radha continues. Kanchana resorts to rotating strike. A few dots come into play but Kaveesha also manages a boundary , with a slog sweep wide of deep square leg.
SL 71/4 (16 overs): Harman comes on and proves to be a tad expensive with a 10-run over here. Dilhari the one taking her on, with two boundaries in this over. She races off to her personal best score in T20Is so far. Little victories.
SL 61/4 (15 overs): Yadav returns. And yet again, a 3-run over. The runs have come painfully slowly for the hosts today.
SL 58/4 (14 overs): Shafali Verma the bowler! Oh this has been an exciting part of India's developing plans. Shafali is hailed by teammates and old coaches as an intelligent planner in the game. She comes good, switching from short, to fuller to length balls and varying her line to give away just three runs in this over. S he also became India's 6th highest runscorer in T20s in India's batting innings, overtaking Punam Raut along the way.
SL 55/4 (13 overs): Vastrakar continues and will get her first
wicket of the match as Nilakshi de Silva holes out to Harmanpreet Kaur at straightish midwicket. A 27-run partnership ends, the highest for Sri Lanka so far. The chase is slipping away from the hosts. Ama Kanchana joins Kaveesha in the middle.
WICKET Nilakshi de Silva c Kaur b Vastrakar 8 (11b 1x4 0x6)
SL 53/3 (12 overs): Harmanpreet Kaur has brought herself on now and nearly gets India a breakthrough. A sitter dropped by Renuka Singh in cover. Proper pressure for Kaveesha Dilhari. She and Nilkakshi manage a couple of singles. Dilhari backs that up with a strong strike down long on for FOUR . 86 more runs needed.
93 runs needed in 9 overs. Sri Lanka managed only 35 in the first 9. Is a big win coming India's way?
SL 46/3 (11 overs): Renuka Singh returns. The Lankan pair is still struggling to find the boundary but they are rotating strike here and manage five of the ten runs they need from this over. Indians very much in control and it's time for drinks.
SL 42/3 (10 overs): Nilakshi and Kaveesha manage two singles early on. Nerves are clearly showing for Kaveesha and Nilakshi needs to take the onus of the chase on and she does, getting a length ball from Vastrakar over midwicket for a
boundary. Six runs from this over.
Vastrakar continues from the other end. Asking rate going up to 10 an over.
SL 35/3 (9 overs): Conservative start but this pair is still rotating strike. Three runs come off the first two balls. Gayakwad pegs back with a few dot balls, keeping things flat and slow. Dilhari gets a bit lucky as she tucks the ball past the keeper. Quick outfield so the ball runs away for
four. Seven runs off this over. Strike rotation is key for this pair.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad into the attack now.
SL 28/3 (8 overs): Maiden over for Vastrakar. She's keeping it full and trying to make Kaveesha make room for herself. SHe's come down the track a few times while the ball makes it back to the keeper. Lucky to always ground her bat. Nilakshi de Silva goes over to talk to Kaveesha. Wonder what the strategy for this pair can be. Too many dot balls.
Advantage India as Sri Lanka has bungled the powerplay. Pooja Vastrakar comes on now.
SL 28/3 (7 overs): Radha continues and she will have the prized wicket of Chamari Athapaththu. The Lankan skipper tries to pull a short one from Yadav but has timed that all wrong as Rajeshwari Gayakwad gets a simple catch at short fine leg. BIG WICKET and massive blow to Lanka's prospects. How much of the credit should go to Deepti for all the powerplay strangling? Kaveesha Dilhari comes on, with the weight of a dropped catch and that 20-run last over hanging around her neck. Meanwhile, looks like Radha has taken Madavi out on the first ball, with Deepti Sharma taking a low catch in the deep square leg boundary. Umpires are checking if that's been taken cleanly. The third umpire agrees with the soft signal. Radha Yadav has emulated Ranasinghe's efforts from the Indian innings. India truly in control. WICKETS Chamari Athapaththu c Gayakwad b Yadav 16 (19b 2x4 0x6) ; Harshitha Madavi c Sharma b Yadav 10 (17b 1x4 0x6)
SL 25/1 (6 overs): Deepti is back again. Her third over. Run out chance here and Madavi would have been walking back to the pavilion but she dives right in time and a lofted through in removes India's advantage. While Athapaththu wants to attack, Deepti is disciplined and just four runs come off the over. END OF THE POWERPLAY.
SL 21/1 (5 overs): BACK TO BACK BOUNDARIES for Chamari Athapaththu. First, she sweeps past backward square and then punches the next through cover. Yadav makes a good comeback, varying the speed a bit as Athapaththu defends. Eight runs from this over. More of this, the Sri Lankans need. Athapaththu walks with a target on her back.
Radha Yadav into the attack. Can the Sri Lankans accelerate now?
SL 13/1 (4 overs): Is Athapaththu struggling just a little? Wonder if she's overthinking her shots or trying to play it safe. Deepti returns and sends one a little outside off and the SL skipper has missed the cut. Deepti's template continues and Athapaththu connects to drive through point and manage a couple. Mandhana at the boundary rope is being some solid work as the ball comes to her yet again. Another couple of runs for the captain. Deepti draws Athapaththu with a wider option here and Athapaththu smashes and the ball finds height but lands safely. Five runs come from this over.
SL 8/1 (3 overs): Chamari is off the mark as she frees her arms and thumps one from Renuka down to cover. There's a fielder there so just the one run. Madavi is showing early nerves as she struggles a bit to connect. She tries to scoop a shot to get off the mark but the ball ends up right at her crease before the stumps. She follows it up with drive to cover for two runs. Smriti Mandhana stops an unlikely boundary. Madavi gets her first BOUNDARY off the last ball as she goes aerial a little, pulling over square for four. Nicely done. That'll help the anxiety.
SL 1/1 (2 overs): Vishmi Gunaratne's time at the crease comes to an end with Deepti Sharma deceiving her. Looks like Vishmi comes down to sweep earlier than the ball and the ball has struck her pads. The umpire's finger goes up. Athapaththu is joined by Harshitha Madavi. Wicket maiden for Deepti Sharma. Her good outing in Dambulla continues. WICKETVishmi Gunaratne lbw b Sharma 1 (5b 0x4 0x6)
SL 1/0 (1 over): Cautious start from Sri Lanka with Vishmi opening her account. Athapaththu seems in no rush. Renuka Singh will now make way for spinner Deepti Sharma.
Vishmi Gunaratne and Chamari Athapaththu take guard for Sri Lanka. The gulf in experience is massive but what an opportunity for the youngster.
Chase starts in a few minutes.
INNINGS SUMMARY: India chose to bat in Dambulla with a slightly overcast-looking sky in the background. On a batter-friendly pitch with a quick outfield, the game was primed for the famed Indian bating order to bully the host. But what happened was the opposite. Oshadhi Ranasinghe struck in her very first over, removing Smriti Mandhana and S Meghana off successive deliveries. Harmanpreet Kaur came on and briefly rebuilt the Indian innings with Shafali Verma, who was looking comfortable and confident. Harman resorted to her signature sweep to break tight passages of play and was even dropped twice in trying to do - two seemingly simple opportunities. Chamari Athapaththu came on herself and after being the fielder who caught Mandhana and Meghana, she dismissed Shafali off the first ball in her first over. Harman's luck ran out as she fell soon after. Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh were tasked with the rebuild but Richa fell right before the end of the 15th over. Pooja Vastrakar came in and found the boundary with some force but Inoka who took out Harman and Richa castled the Indian allrounder. Deepti Sharma, coming on lower than we're used to seeing her, helped India finish on a high, with her and Jemi managing 20 runs in the last over to take India to 138. Athapaththu should be very pleased with her bowlers, however fielding was a big concern with some clumsy stops and dropped catches needing to be addressed. However, more pressing is the chase. Can Athapaththu weave some magic with the bat too? We'll find out in a few minutes.
IND 138/6 (20 overs): India eyes 130, Sri Lanka looks to deny the same and the over starts with a big appeal for LBW but the ball looks like its struck outside the line with a hint of an inside edge. But advantage as it gets Jemimah off strike and she too grimaces as she lugs back to the nonstriker. Deepti Sharma is a proven bat and gets two boundaries in two balls, one slogged to the rope and the other going straight over the bowler's head to long off where there was no protection. Make that three in a row. INDIA CROSSES 130 . Deepti sweeps over the keeper's head almost to find the boundary rope. After a single brings Jemi back on strike, Jemimah rounds off the innings with the first six of the day and the only six for India. Sri Lanka needs 139 to win.
Last over goes to Kaveesha.
IND 118/6 (19 overs): Prabodani returns for the last time today. Sri Lanka needs to round off an impressive bowling performance by keeping it tight in the last two. Jemimah is looking for boundaries. Prabodani switching between fuller and length deliveries, giving Jemimah room to hit but not enough to place them in the gaps for boundaries yet. Just four runs conceded in this over and you can see how visibly annoyed Jemimah is.
12 balls remain. Can India get to 130 or even more?
IND 114/6 (18 overs): Three overs. What can India do here? Deepti Sharma has joined Jemimah Rodrigues. Dilhari returns for another over. The idea is to stop Jemimah from going aerial. Eight runs come off the over, no boundaries, but some sloppy fielding allows two extra runs in this over. This will something Sri Lanka will take back to the drawing board after this game.
IND 106/6 (17 overs): Ranaweera comes on for her final over of the day. Vastrakar showing intent here as she takes the attack on. She flicks Ranaweera to deep midwicket to bring Jemimah back on strike. There's a sense of urgency in Jemi's body language now as she sends this tossed up delivery between square leg and deep midwicket for FOUR . Vastrakar is not to be left out as she gracefully sends one through long off for another boundary. Can these two up the run rate from here? Well, Pooja can't as RANAWEERA CASTLES HER! Straight to the stumps and Pooja didn't know what had happened for a minute there. Brilliant yorker from Ranaweera to end her spell. She finishes with three wickets to her name. WICKETPooja Vastrakar b Ranaweera 14 (12b 2x4 0x6)
IND 96/5 (16 overs): I'd like to believe Pooja heard my mind voice as she starts this Ranasinghe over with a lovely cut past point for four . Ranasinghe is resorting to short deliveries, trying to induce mistakes perhaps, but playing with her line. After a tight over, Pooja manages to bookend the over with another boundary , down the ground this time.
Can Pooja Vastrakar provide India a late flourish here?
IND 85/5 (15 overs): Sri Lanka's top notch bowling performance continues. KEEPER STUMPED. Ranaweera returns and manages to draw Richa Ghosh out of her crease to help Sanjeewani complete the simplest of stumpings. This brings Pooja Vastrakar to the crease. Four runs and a dismissal for Ranaweera. WICKETRicha Ghosh st Sanjeewani b Ranaweera 11 (15b 1x4 0x6)
IND 81/4 (14 overs): Good over from Kaveesha who concedes just four runs in this over. Hope she's forgotten the horror of that spill near the boundary earlier.
Kaveesha Dilhari comes on to bowl now.
IND 77/4 (13 overs): A loose delivery down the legside allows Richa Ghosh to break the shackles a bit and get a boundary . Quick outfield here in Dambulla and so the runs will come thick and fast as long as this duo gets their placement right. Six runs off this over.
Prabodani returns for another spell.
IND 71/4 (12 overs): Athapaththu returns. Five runs conceded with no damage. An outside chance for a run out in that last ball but the Indian pair gets back to their ends safely. A few more wickets will put India under pressure and the side is known to buckle a bit when misery piles. If Jemimah and Richa get going, India can look to upwards of 130.
IND 66/4 (11 overs): There's work to do for the Indian batters here as they try and stem the momentum swinging SL's way. Ranaweera comes on and emulates her skipper with a wicket off the first ball of the over and it's the big wicket of captain Harmanpreet Kaur. Her nine (well, three here) lives have run out in Dambulla as is caught lbw. The ball came angling into and hit her on the pad right in front. Richa Ghosh joins Rodrigues in the middle. Jemimah, who is making it back into the Indian scheme of things after losing favour a bit due to a lull in form will hope to make this count. The situation and the tension is tuned to perfection for her to own the stage and she starts with a boundary, playing it late down third man. Eight runs come off the over, at the cost of Harman's dismissal. WICKETHarmanpreet Kaur lbw b Ranaweera 22 (20b 3x4 0x6)
IND 58/3 (10 overs): What is Athapaththu made of? SHE TAKES OUT SHAFALI VERMA FIRST BALL. Keeps it tight to the middle stump but Shafali manages to hit it only to hole out to Nilakshi de Silva at long on. This brings Jemimah Rodrigues to the crease. Two more singles conceded. Great over from the SL captain who hails from near Dambulla. Dominance.
If you can't get someone to do it, do it yourself. And Chamari Athapaththu brings herself on to try and break this partnership that's building here between Shafali and Harman.
IND 56/2 (9 overs): Kumari returns and Harman is dropped again. First ball. This time by Kavisha Dilhari as she tries to sweep again. Bad drop this. She had it! Two lifelines for the Indian skipper. Shafali and Harman play it safe but Harman wraps up the over with a fluent sweep to deep midwicket.
IND 48/2 (8 overs): Shafali Verma welcomes Ranaweera with a boundary down the ground. Struck firmly this. She is looking good today. Ranaweera recovers to give away just four more runs. Eight runs off this over.
More left arm spin. Inoka Ranaweera comes on from around the wicket.
IND 40/2 (7 overs): Ama Kanchana comes on for her first over and proves a little expensive, giving away eight runs. I wonder how the youngster perceives this. As a show of faith, or a test to make up for that catch. Nevertheless, the Indian pair are still there and Shafali this time uses a fuller delivery and cuts it through cover point for four .
IND 32/2 (6 over): Ranasinghe continues. Shafali is chiopping away slowly. She starts off with two runs over cover point. Harmanpreet has decided to clean up Dambulla as she goes for yet another sweep shot and this one rockets away to the fence for four . CHANCE FOR SRI LANKA BUT DROPPED. Harmanpreet Kaur has been gifted a life by Ama Kanchana who seems to have dropped a sitter. Another sweep shot which was dropped at backward square. Just how much is this going to cost Sri Lanka?
IND 24/2 (5 overs): Harmanpreet Kaur has joined Shafali here in the middle. The two will be careful to not let another wicket fall. And Sri Lanka too is keeping things tight to pile on the pressure after the double jackpot from the last over. Harmanpreet negotiates a boundary anyway with her signature sweep shot. Show of intent from the Indian skipper as she sends the arm ball to the fence. Nearly thought that was a six.
IND 19/2 (4 overs) : AND SHE DELIVERS! And it's the big fish. Smriti Mandhana who holes out to Chamari Athapaththu at mid-on. Ranasinghe tossed up this delivery to Mandhana who was clearly itching to free up her arms a bit but the result is a prized catch for SL. Oh hold on, Ranasinghe strikes again! Meghana goes for a duck. We've seen her heroics in India's NZ tour before the World Cup and in the Women's T20 Challenge but she will walk back doing no damage to SL. She tries to make something of this delivery drifting outside off but holes out to a delighted Athapaththu who comes in from mid-off. ADVANTAGE Sri Lanka. No hat-trick for Ranasinghe but she's given off three runs for 2 wickets. Job well done. WicketsSmriti Mandhana c Athapaththu b Ranasinghe 1 (6b 0x4 0x6); Sabbhineni Meghana c Athapaththu b Ranasinghe 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
Athapaththu now relies on Oshadhi Ranasinghe to try and find a wicket here.
IND 16/2 (3 overs): Shafali continues to look like the more confident, or should we say, comfortable of the two batters. She brings up her second boundary with some sweet timing to send this through mid off for four. Prabodani is sticking to fuller deliveries. It's not doing much harm but it's not troubling the openers too much.
Prabodani continues from the other end. She seems to be struggling with her lines a little. It helps that the Indian openers are still settling in and trying to manufacture shots.
IND 10/0 (2 overs): Shafali Verma mistimes her first shot but makes no mistake with Kumari's second ball. The Sri Lankan tosses it up to Verma who nicely places this in the extra cover region between fielders to give India its first
boundary. Kumari recovers to give away just a single more.
Athapaththu sends in left arm spinner Sugandika Kumar.
IND 5/0 (1 over): A cautious start from the openers as they try and understand how the pitch is playing. Prabodhani will be happy to not give these two a boundary. A small misfield on the last delivery gifted India a run too. Early nerves for the hosts perhaps?
2pm: Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana take guard for India. Udeshika Prabodhani starts for Sri Lanka with her left arm medium pace.
1:45pm: MATCH PREVIEW BY Shayan Acharya
For any cricket team, touring Sri Lanka is a challenge. The conditions are different, the wickets often tend to aid the spinners and it becomes difficult to overcome the early jitters.
Harmanpreet Kaur will hope that her team does not have much trouble in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. The Indian cricketers haven’t played international cricket for nearly three months, so their initial target would be to make sure they assess the conditions well and then put their best foot forward.
While Harmanpreet believes it will be easier for her and the team to have a single captain for all formats, things may not be that rosy. With the Commonwealth Games around the corner, the Indian team management wants to treat this series as preparation for the multi-nation event to be held in Birmingham next month. Keeping that in mind, it will be important to get the playing combination right.
“We are looking at consistency and winning habits… Moving forward, we want to win World Cups, but it’s important to build a squad that can compete in every condition and against every opponent. That’s what we are working on,” Powar had said before leaving for Sri Lanka.
Quite evidently, Powar and the team think-tank believe that with the side going through a transition, the young players need to be given chances to cement their places. In the absence of seasoned fast bowlers Shikha Pandey and Sneh Rana, the series against Sri Lanka could be a good opportunity for those who are playing to make a name and take charge.
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Chamari Athapaththu, however, has warned the touring team that they have got some planning done to tackle the Indian spinners, who have not been in their best of forms over the last few months. While many feel that the conditions in Sri Lanka would be helping the seasoned campaigners like Poonam Yadav to strike form, the host team, too, has the firepower to put up a strong fight.
Experienced names like Hasini Perera, Kavisha Dilhari and Athapaththu herself headline this team, which is coming into this series after a whitewash at the hands of Pakistan. Sri Lanka however was imperious in its Commonwealth Games qualifier, booking a berth for the Games in Birmingham by beating the very side which knocked it out of the reckoning for the World Cup earlier this year - Bangladesh.
There has hardly been a build-up to the series, barring a few media conferences. While spectators will be allowed for the series, quite surprisingly, Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed broadcasters and overseas partners confirmed their streaming details a little over 12 hours before the first game. But brushing the negatives aside, both the teams will be hoping to give their best shot. After all, the next couple of weeks will give them a fair idea in terms of their preparation ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
1:30pm: Here's a look at the squads of both nations
Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Sri Lanka squad
Chamari Athapaththu (c), Hasini Perera, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeevani, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweera, Achini Kulasuriya, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Kaushani Nuthyangana, Sathya Sandeepani, Tharika Sewwandi.
1:15pm: While we wait for the game to begin, guess who is on the cover of Sportstar magazine this coming fortnight? Get your own copy here
1:00pm Where can we watch this game - chaos for Indian fans as telecast confirmed on eve of first match
Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday announced that the limited-overs home series against India, beginning on Thursday, will be streamed live on the cricket board’s official YouTube channel and will be broadcast on Dialog 1.
After dilly-dally, late on Wednesday, it was announced that FanCode will stream the series for free in India.
There were no clarity until Wednesday evening on whether the cricket fans in India will be able to watch the tournament live on television as the SLC claimed that for overseas platforms, “discussions are still on”.
In the pre-match media interaction, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur hinted that some last moment arrangements were being made for the series to be broadcast.
"As far I know, it is being broadcast live. I was informed today that there were some last-minute plans to ensure that it is broadcast," Harmanpreet said.
Since 2017, only two series involving India have not had full broadcast - the first being the India tour of South Africa in 2018, which was broadcast partially, followed by the India tour of Sri Lanka in 2018.
The T20I series will be played in Dambulla from Thursday, followed by the ODI series, a part of the ICC Women's Championship 2022-25, in Pallekele between July 1 to 7.
Follow our complete coverage of India Women's tour of Sri Lanka on Sportstar. 2