Women's T20 World Cup: Shafali, Poonam star as India topples Bangladesh by 18 runs

Shafali Verma and Poonam Yadav helped India post an 18-run win against Bangladesh. This takes the team to the top of the Group A points table.

Shafali Verma's 39 set the pace for a competitive total in the absence of Smriti Mandhana. The Indian batter was adjudged Player of the Match for her contributions in the field too.   -  Getty Images

Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav delivered yet again with timely dismissals to lead India to a comfortable 18-run win over Bangladesh in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match, here on Monday.

Invited to bat, a substantial partnership eluded them after a fiery start but India still managed to post a competitive 142 for six at the WACA ground.

As it happened: Women's T20 World Cup Highlights: India overcomes Bangladesh challenge by 18 runs

India was off to a flying start with opener Shafali Verma (39 of 17 balls) coming out all guns blazing in the Group A game.

However, the Indian innings didn't get going after the departure of the 16-year-old, who hit four sixes and two fours in her entertaining knock. Later, Veda Krishnamurthy (20 off 11) timely hitting helped India post a fighting total.

Bangladesh fought through Murshida Khatun (30) and Nigar Sultana (35) but Poonam rattled the middle and lower order with her strikes.

In the end, Bangladesh could manage 124 for eight, giving India its second straight win in the tournament.

“The way Shafali and Richa played today, they showed how capable they are for the team. Veda’s innings was turning point. We needed boundaries at that point and she did a great job,” India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said.

Poonam, who had helped India halt Australia’s chase in its opening game as well, was the top bowler again. She scalped Sanjida Islam (10), Fahima Khatun (17) and Jahanara Alam (10) to make it tough for Bangladesh.

READ: Women’s T20 World Cup – India beat Australia by 17 runs – Talking points

Bangladesh needed 49 runs from last five overs but it failed to negotiate Poonam’s flighted deliveries.

The Indian spinner had Fahima caught by Shafali in the first ball of the 16th over while Rajeshwari Gaekwad saw the back of well-set Nigar Sultana.

Poonam then returned to dismiss Jahanara, who stepped out looking for a big hit only to be stumped by Taniya.

The runs dried up and Bangladesh now needed 22 off the final over.

Pacer Shikha Pandey clean bowled Rumana Ahmed with a perfect yorker and writing was clear on the wall.

Earlier, Shafali punished the rival attack with her fluent stroke-making.

Attempting a big one, Shafali skied one off veteran Panna Ghosh and was dismissed, caught by wicket-keeper Shamima Sultana.

This was after fellow opener Taniya Bhatia (2) was sent back by Salma Khathun.

 

Shafali turned out to be the best scorer in India’s innings.

Jemimah Rodrigues played a sedate yet crucial 34-run knock, considering skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was already dismissed by Ghosh.

With both Shafali and Harmanpreet cooling their heels back in the dug out, India’s run-rate took a dip.

Jemimah erred in judgement while calling Deepti for a single and was run out.

Richa Ghosh, who replaced Smriti Mandhana in the playing XI, hit two splendid boundaries before holing out to Nahida Akter off Salma Khatun.

The slide continued with Deepti Sharma (11) running herself out following a mix up with Veda Krishnamurthy (20 off 11).

Tighter fielding and a confident bowling performance helped India seal its second win in two games to sit pretty on top of the Group A points table. The Women in Blue will face New Zealand next in Melbourne.

Brief scores: India 142/6 (Shafali Verma 39, Jemimah Rodrigues 34, Salma Khatun 2/25) beat Bangladesh 124/8 (Nigar Sultana 35, Murshida Khatun, Poonam Yadav 3/18) by 18 runs.

 

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