India beat Bangladesh by 18-runs with the bowlers – Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey scripting decisive wins in the two opening matches. Bangladesh opted to field first after winning the toss. They couldn’t restrict the run flow in the opening overs. Shafali Verma stormed the Bangladeshi bowlers, with her outrageous form. She gave India a splendid start and filled the void caused by the absence of Indian opener Smriti Mandhana.
Smriti Mandhana has been rested for the second encounter after suffering an injury while fielding in the match against Australia. Indian batters once again crumbled under pressure. Bangladesh bowlers have come back strongly into the match after the powerplay to deflate Indian batting.
The 17-year old slogged the ball in the long-off region by consecutive Sixes in back-back overs. She struck 17 runs in the third over of Jahanara Alam. This brutal strike hiked the run rate to 11.33 by the end of the third over. Shafali kept India on the hunt for runs as she was propelling India to a high scoring finish.
Her scintillating show was cut short by a length ball that was caught by the keeper Shamima Sultana after a juggle. Harmanpreet Kaur once again failed to lead the batting attack in crunch situations, she was dismissed by Panna Gosh for a paltry score of 8-runs.
Jemimah Rodrigues, however, tried to stabilize the innings. Though it came at a slow pace, this played a prime role in reaching a good total to defend. Rodrigues struck boundaries at frequent intervals, this kept India afloat and took India to 92 by the end of her dismissal. A mixup between Deepti Sharma and Jemimah costed her wicket. Richa Gosh displayed a glimpse of her batting potential who struck with back-back boundaries in 15th over by Jahanara Alam.
The 17th over changed India’s game plan and they were struggling for finding runs and wickets tumbling at one end. Ghosh got out after a swift knock and Deepti got out because of a terrible mishap of the batters finding the same end at the crease.
Veda Krishnamurthy took over the reins and found gaps in the fields to ensure India reached 142 at the end of 20-overs. Bangladesh failed to halt the flow of runs as Veda overpowered them with her presence of mind and placement. Veda’s shut her critics by slamming boundaries all over the ground by working on her placement and shot-making. She played a decent role in lifting India to a competitive finish and also justified her role in the middle-overs.
Salma Khatun and Panna Ghosh pickets two-wickets each. In response, Indian bowling contingent maintained their phenomenal form, as Bangladesh struggled early in the innings. Shikha Pandey got India its first breakthrough by dismissing Shamima Sulthana for 3. Murshida Khatun looked dangerous as she slammed boundaries with ease. In the third over, she struck 3 back-to-back boundaries and accelerated the scoreboard.
Her fine inning was shortened by Arundathi Reddy whose length was misjudged and ended by slicing it to the fielder in the extra cover region. Nigar Sultana continued to strike well in the middle by slamming five boundaries in her brief stint. Bangladesh, on the other hand, continued to cripple as the Indian Bowlers continued to strangle them.
Poonam Yadav once again with her leg break and googlies made the batters struggle and sent them packing. She picked three wickets of Sanjida Alam, Fahima Khatun, and Jahanara Alam. Arundathi Reddy and Shikha Pandey took two wickets each, while Rajeshwari Gayakwad ended with 1 scalp.
Bangladesh’s chance of making come back was halted by Indian bowler’s pace, lengths and turn. Bangladesh gave away wickets and leaving it too much for the tail-enders to chase down. Indian bowling time and again saved India from an upset by the unsettled batting unit.
Shafali Verma was adjudged the Player of the match for her breath-taking knock of 39-runs of 17-balls. India registered a convincing win, which is the second of the tournament. Bangladesh will have to regroup soon as they have to bounce back in its upcoming encounters. India is one win away from sealing its Semi’s berth.