PERTH, February 24: 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 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.
India were 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 never got the impetuous 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) hit a few lusty blows to help 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 their 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 a 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 their 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.
Bangladesh needed 49 runs from the last five overs but they 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 since hard-hitting skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was already dismissed by Ghosh.
With both Shafali and Harmanpreet cooling their heels back in the dugout, India’s run-rate took a dip.
Jemimah erred in judgement while calling Deepti for a single and was run out.
Australia revive fortunes with win over Sri Lanka
Rachael Haynes hit a classy fifty to help defending champions Australia overcome a fighting Sri Lanka by five wickets in their second Group A match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on Sunday.
Chamari Athapaththu (50 off 38 balls) struck a quick half-century but Nicola Carey (2/18), who missed the India game, and Molly Strano (2/23) helped Australia restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 122 for six.
Chasing the target, the Australian hearts were racing when Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner and Beth Mooney — all fell within four overs before Haynes and captain Meg Lanning (41 not out) stitched a 95-run fourth-wicket stand to take the hosts out of trouble.
Australia didn’t hesitate in showing their intent as Megan Schutt struck early with her third ball, handing Mooney with an easy catch at point to remove Hasini Perera for a duck.
After the powerplay, Umesha Thimeshani was removed by Carey for 20.
It was yet another impressive outing for Athapaththu against the Australians, her 38-ball half-century taking Sri Lanka to 91 but the hosts finally took their third wicket when the captain blasted the ball straight to her opposite number Lanning.
Anushka Sanjeewani’s 25 helped Sri Lanka inch to three figures but she was soon caught by Delissa Kimmince off Strano’s bowling, while Ama Kanchana perished for a duck two balls later. (PTI)