Women’s T20 World Cup: India beat Bangladesh by 18 runs – talking points

Poonam Yadav and Shafali Verma starred in India’s second win of the Women’s T20 World Cup. Here are the biggest talking points.

India was the better fielding side and it helped the team trump Bangladesh. - GETTY IMAGES

A dominant show with bat and ball helped India reclaim the top spot in the Group A standings. Missing the services of Smriti Mandhana, 16-year-old Shafali Verma took matters into her own hands, giving India a confident start, helping India post the highest total in the tournament so far — 142. Poonam Yadav came good once more, leading a tight bowling attack that refused to allow Bangladesh any room to get going.

Here are the biggest talking points from the game:

BAN vs IND | As it happened

Consistency thy name is Poonam

When she was stationed at the boundary, Poonam Yadav was careful not to indulge in too much diving. She came into the tournament after an injury to her finger and she was careful not to do anything that might see her warming the bench in Australia. Yadav played a pivotal role in the first game against Australia that India fought hard to turn in its favour and did the same against Bangladesh as well, helping clean up the middle order. Due credit also to Arundhati Reddy and Shikha Pandey — whose bowling in the death was remarkable despite the team not being in danger of conceding the game. More the options for skipper Harmanpreet, the better.

Fireworks up top, but where is the middle order?

India will be happy to dominate the points table but its wins don’t come without questions. The Indian batting order has not fired as much as expected. Shafali Verma had a better game against Bangladesh than against Australia, striking the ball confidently and showing some good footwork. No Smriti meant the responsibility lay on her and the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues and skipper Harmanpreet, who has not fired with the bat in the last two games. The middle order contributed just 33 runs and that’s not even as much as Shafali made in this game. Veda Krishnamurthy’s late burst helped the team put up the World Cup’s highest total so far. Perhaps she could be promoted up the order to be able to contribute more substantially. This is something coach W. V. Raman will want to address before the team takes on New Zealand in Melbourne, especially seeing the kind of form Sophia Devine is in. India will not want to find itself 20-30 runs short if made to defend against a team with players capable of clearing the boundary with ease.

BAN vs IND | REPORT

Fielding the difference between the two sides

Catches were dropped by both sides but India was the tighter team in the field. Shafali pulled off a brilliant catch at short square leg to get Fahima Khatun out of the picture and also made some athletic efforts to save runs by the boundary rope. Jemimah, too, was pivotal in not letting runs leak beyond the 30-yard circle. It’s tiny things like this that Bangladesh could take note of when facing sides with more explosive batting line-ups. Captain Salma Khatun and Nigar Sultana Joty were quick to acknowledge the need to better their fielding and as this game showed, it could just be the difference between two sides in a game.

It was a well-attended contest in WACA, Perth. - GETTY IMAGES

 

Match practice helps and it shows

At the post-match presser, responding to a question, Joty spoke of the disadvantage of a lack of match practice — especially against the top eight teams in the world — facing Bangladesh in this World Cup. The Tigers’ ranking does pose such difficulties but she also pointed out that the side has been playing tournaments and tri-nation series to make up. While the Tigers may have plans for their opponents, more games would help their cause in tuning their player to selectively target chinks in the armour of prospective competitors. This is something Thailand could benefit from as well, especially after its brilliant bowling performance against West Indies.

What’s next for both sides?

India faces New Zealand, the side it overthrew to resume the top spot in the group, on Wednesday in Melbourne. Bangladesh will face defending champion Australia on Thursday in Canberra.

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