On Saturday, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, India was winning until it wasn’t. Smriti Mandhana’s pristine timing and fluency may have been missing, but her presence in the middle gave the team confidence.
But her dismissal for a well-made 59 left the door ajar for the host. There was sharp turn and awkward bounce, but that didn’t seem to deter skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who moved to 14 with two boundaries. But a controversial lbw decision put an end to her innings.
However, Harleen Deol joined forces with Jemimah Rodrigues to begin the repair work. The pair kept the scorecard ticking, guiding India to 190 for four in 41 overs. With 36 needed off 54 and six wickets in hand, the odds were stacked against Bangladesh. That’s when things took a turn for the worse for the visiting side, with the lower middle order suffering a meek collapse.
Deol and Deepti Sharma fell in one over, with Bangladesh being rewarded for its sharp ground fielding. Jemimah continued to plough on and kept her team in the chase. At 196 for six, she got a reprieve when she was dropped at mid-wicket—just the slice of luck India needed going its way. Amanjot Kaur, at the other end, pinched ones and twos to eat away at the deficit.
But when the slide seemed to have been arrested, it turned into an avalanche. Amanjot was trapped leg before, and Sneh Rana and Devika Vaidya offered return catches to Nahida Akter. India, from 216 for six, was reduced to 217 for nine in the space of five deliveries.
The last batter, Meghna Singh, tried to hold one end up even as Jemimah tried to farm the strike to get closer to the target. But needing one to win off four, Meghna had a half-hearted push at a delivery outside off and was caught behind, sparking celebrations in the Bangladesh dressing room.
Bangladesh tied the three-match ODI series 1-1, as India was again left to rue its inability to cross the final hurdle.
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