Indian cricket team players celebrate the fall of a Bangladesh wicket during their match at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 on February 24.
India scored the highest total of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to register an emphatic win over Bangladesh in their second game of the tournament. The win kept up India’s perfect start to the tournament with two wins from their opening two games.
Shefali Verma kicked off aggressively right from the start, blasting a six in the first over to set the tone for the innings. Smriti Mandhana’s omission from the team because of a viral infection gave Tanya Bhatia a rare chance at the top of the order. She failed to capitalise, though, and was out in the second over.
Also Read | The Australian Hockey Secret
The early setback didn’t deter the 16-year-old Verma who was all action through her innings hammering 4 sixes and 2 boundaries to score a quick 39 in 17 balls. India’s middle order capitulation was a concern but Veda Krishnamurthy — whose own form was a concern leading into the World Cup — steadied the ship to help India to a competitive target of 142.
Poonam Yadav’s stingy bowling made it difficult for Bangladesh to score and her three wickets along with Shikha Pandey and Arundathi Reddy— 2 wickets each — helped Indiato a comfortable win.
Jemimah Rodrigues also scored a crucial 37-ball 34 before being run-out in comedic fashion but the rest of the batsmen including skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s failure to get runs will be a concern for the team. Credit must be given to Bangladesh though who pegged India’s middle order back and picked up some quick wickets in the middle overs to get back into the game.
In the 17th over when India lost Richa Gosh and Deepti Sharma it looked like this low scoring match would be Bangladesh’s for the taking. That was before Veda Krishnamurthy took matters into her own hands smashing 4 boundaries in 11 balls to take India to a total of 142 for 6 in 20 overs.
Bangladesh’s chase suffered an early setback when Shikha Pandey struck in her very first over to remove opener Shamimi Sultana. Yadav’s ability to keep the runs locked down from her end has been one of the major game changers for Team India. She makes it difficult for the other teams to attack her forcing them to take a high risk for reward approach that more often than not works in India’s favour.
A matter of concern for the team management will be India’s fielding. Despite the win India gave away almost 20 runs via midfields. Furthermore Bangladesh were given multiple lifelines, with India dropping at least three catchable chances over the course of their innings.
After the win, Shefali, the player of the match, said “Since Mandhana wasn’t around, I wanted to take the responsibility to stay around and give India a good start. I’ve been practicing hitting the ball hard and would like to bring the team more success in the future. I’d like to continue doing this, help India win matches and ultimately win us the World Cup.”
India’s next group game is against New Zealand on February 27.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick