Match Report – BAN-W vs IND-W 1st T20I, April 28, 2024

Match Report – BAN-W vs IND-W 1st T20I, April 28, 2024

India 145 for 7 (Yastika 36, Shafali 31, Rabeya 3-23) beat Bangladesh 101 for 8 (Sultana 51, Renuka 3-18, Vastrakar 2-25) by 44 runs

India rode on Renuka Singh’s 3 for 18 to beat Bangladesh by 45 runs in the opening game of the five-match T20I series in Sylhet, on a humid Sunday evening. India have won 15 of 18 T20Is against Bangladesh now.

Barring the Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana, none of the batters could put up a fight in chase of 146, which at the innings break felt like a below-par total given India’s slowdown in the final phase. Sultana’s 51, the top-scorer among both teams, wasn’t enough as Bangladesh mustered only 101 for 8 in 20 overs.

They had a shaky start to the chase, losing their top three of Dilhara Akther, Murshida Khatun and Sobhana Mostary inside the powerplay, with Renuka accounting for two wickets in her three overs and Deepti Sharma one. Pooja Vastrakar removed Fahima Khatun immediately after the powerplay to leave Bangladesh reeling at 30 for 4. Sultana’s five fours and a six in her 48-ball stay dragged the hosts past 100 but she found little help at the other hand as wickets fell around her.

Renuka came back in the 16th over to remove Rabeya Khan to add one more to her tally while Vastrakar picked up two and Shreyanka Patil, Radha Yadav and Deepti took a wicket each.

Yastika shines before India’s collapse

Young legspinner Rabeya Khan’s three wickets helped Bangladesh restrict India to 145 for 7. Yastika Bhatia’s 36 and cameos from Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh pushed India to a moderate total which proved enough at the end.

After reaching 100 in 12.2 overs, India could not touch the 150-mark with several batters failing to convert starts and accelerate at the death overs as the team lost five wickets for 39 runs.

Smriti Mandhana fell early when she found a thick inside edge onto the legstump, in the third over, trying to be aggressive. Shafali started well, scoring three fours and a six in her 22-ball 31 before falling to Rabeya in the ninth over when she tried to play across the line and found the top edge.

Yastika and Harmanpreet then stabilised the innings in the middle overs, providing the foundation for a big finish. Yastika, slotted in at No.3 in place of the injured Jemimah Rodrigues, played a few neat cover drives along the ground, shuffled across and swept past the short fine leg fielder to find boundaries and looked set to take off. In her 28-ball innings, she hit six fours and stitched two crucial partnerships – firstly, 43 off 31 with Shafali for the second wicket and then 45 off 33 with Harmanpreet.

However, Bangladesh fought back with the wickets of Harmanpreet and Yastika in consecutive overs to derail India. Harmanpreet was trapped lbw for 30 off legspinner Fahima Khatun in the 14th over and Yastika found the point fielder after she mistimed a heave off Rabeya.

Debutant S Sajana was promoted to No.6 and with Ghosh at the other end, India expected some fireworks. However, that didn’t happen. Sajana’s stay was short-lived as she was dismissed for a run-a-ball 11 and Ghosh, after notching up two fours and a six, fell to Marufa Akther’s pace in the final over. Marufa converted it into a double-wicket over, removing Vastrakar off the last ball and conceding just two runs from the over.

Bangladesh put on a mixed fielding display, dropping three catches off Shafali, Mandhana and Sajana but also showed excellent effort to save a few boundaries near the rope.

Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

#Match #Report #BANW #INDW #1st #T20I #April

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