Women's T20 WC: India beats Sri Lanka - Talking Points

Shafali Verma's brilliant form, Sri Lanka's sloppy fielding and Radha Yadav's stunning spell - here are the talking points from India's fourth T20 World Cup win.

India became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of Women's T20 World Cup.   -  afp

India registered a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at the Junction Oval in Melbourne to finish on top of the Group A with four wins in four matches at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Shafali Verma once again top-scored with a quickfire 34-ball 47 and Radha Yadav finished with a career-best 4-23 to help India enter the semifinals with an unbeaten streak. India completed the 114-run chase with 33 balls to spare. 

Talking points from the game:

Shafali's fine run continues

India's Shafali Verma attacks the Sri Lankan bowling during the Twenty20 women's World Cup cricket match in Melbourne. She fell just short of 50 yet again.   -  AFP

 

Shafali Verma continued with her explosive hitting to ensure India completed its first chase of the tournament without an iota of trouble. After hitting 16 off 16 balls, when Smriti Mandhana took on the role of the aggressor during her short stint 17-run stint (12 b) at the top, Shafali took off in her typical style. She muscled the ball to the boundary rope twice and one into the stands immediately after Mandhana’s departure. She finished with seven fours and a six for a score of 47 off 34 balls before running herself out.

Shafali had done enough by the time Sri Lanka sent her back as India completed the run-chase with 33 balls to spare. The 16-year-old now has scores of 29, 39, 46 and 47 in the four matches at the T20 World Cup and has the most number of sixes - nine. Shafali is the second highest run-getter with 161 runs with England’s Heather Knight taking the top spot with 176 runs.

READ | Women's T20 WC: We don't want to stop Shafali, says Harmanpreet

Sri Lanka's over-relaince on Athapaththu

Sri Lanka has forever relied on its captain Chamari Athapaththu for its tide of fortune and this match was no different. With her free-flowing batting, Chamari threatened to cause some flutters in the Indian ranks. But, after slog-sweeping Radha for a mighty six in the previous ball, she went for a hard slash at deep square leg and into the waiting hands of Shikha Pandey to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 48/3. Sri Lanka never really recovered from her wicket and failed to stitch together a partnership as India tightened the noose with its spin bowling. 

 

India’s impressive bowling performance

If India has four wins in four matches, the bowling department deserves to take much of the credit for that. But for Shafali Verma, Indian batters have deceived to flatter. While the first three games saw the bowlers successfully defend India’s unimpressive targets, the fourth against Sri Lanka had the bowlers restricting the opposition to a score that the inconsistent Indian batting line-up would find comfortable to surmount. 

The bowling unit did its job once again as Radha Yadav picked up a career-best 4-23 and never allowed Sri Lankan batters to flex their arms. Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma were equally effective in keeping a tight leash on the opposition and restricted it to a below-par 113/9 . The spinners, in fact, accounted for eight of the nine wickets to fall in the Sri Lankan innings. 

READ | Women's T20 World Cup: India beats Sri Lanka for fourth win in a row

Radha Yadav shines in India's fourth successive win

Radha Yadav celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu during the Women's T20 World Cup match against Saturday.   -  afp

 

Radha Yadav finished with a career-best 4-23 in T20 to help India restrict Sri Lanka to an achievable total of 113/9. She was responsible for the crucial wicket of Sri Lankan captain Chamari Aththapatthu who top-scored with 33. She struck quick blows soon after with wickets of Hasini Perera and Hansima Karunaratne to leave Sri Lanka stuttering at 75/5. Sri Lanka was unable to stitch together any game-changing partnership since Chamari’s departure and Radha Yadav picked up her first four-wicket haul of her career.
 

Sri Lanka’s sloppy fielding proves costly

Sri Lanka was guilty of dropping catches of Shafali Verma twice and paid dearly. Despite having a below-par total to defend, Sri Lanka’s fielding was sloppy at best and left a lot to be desired. There were other half-chances too against Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma as the openers capitalised on their charmed existence to cause misery to the Sri Lankan bowlers. Sri Lanka would go on to drop another catch at the fag end, that of Jemimah Rodrigues, but failure to remove Shafali at the beginning to proved to be enough for the team’s downfall.

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