Indian bowlers stifled the Sri Lankan women’s team after Jemimah Rodrigues’ vital return shot to secure a convincing 34-point win in the inaugural T20 International on Thursday. Defending a modest 139 points, left arm player Radha Yadav (2/22) made her presence felt right after the power play by dismissing dangerous Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu (16) and Harsihtha Madavi (10) in three balls. .
Reduced to 27 for three inside seven overs, Sri Lanka never made it into the chase, which was further derailed by tight bowling by dressmaker Deepti Pooja Vastrakar midway through the overs in road to a tidy 4-1-13 -1 spell.
Deepti Sharma got India off to a flying start, clearing opener Vishmi Gunaratne (0) in the second. The senior off-spinner was at his best on the power play and came back with numbers of 3-1-9-1 to thwart Sri Lanka’s early progress.
Deepti also took a superb power-up from deep square leg to give Radha his second wicket of the day.
Kavisha Dilhari fought a lonely battle for the hosts with a 49-ball 47 (6×4) bout, but the Indians’ bowling and high-level field saw their side easily emerge victorious for a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
The hosts needed 78 runs in the final five overs and Kavisha started with a boundary flurry against Harmanpreet Kaur and Radha.
But that proved insufficient as the Indians stifled the home team’s run rate while denying the Islanders six runs in their innings.
Shafali Varma added to Sri Lanka’s misery by sending 11-year-old Ama Kanchana into the dead to let them falter at 104-for-five.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Saturday.
Going to bat, India lost flyhalf Smriti Mandhana (1) to third over of the match, the 25-year-old falling victim to veteran spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe as she sought to free her arms. She hit a jerky delivery straight to Chamari Aththapatu midway through.
Sabbhineni Meghana was out for a golden duck, sent back to the locker room by old warhorse Ranasinghe.
Losing two wickets early and under pressure in the hot and humid Dambulla, it was left to the duo of Harmanpreet and Shefali Verma to take control of the situation.
A well-set Verma was next to go, pushed aside by Aththapatu on the 31st as he tried to go all the way.
The Lankans’ clever bowling saw them quickly achieve their biggest breakthrough when Harmanpreet (22) was trapped in front of the wicket by spinner Inoka Ranaweera in the 11th.
Ranaweera picked two more wickets to dismiss wicketkeeper batsman Richa Ghosh (11) and Pooja Vastrakar (14) to cut the visitors down to 106 for six from 17 overs and leave Jemimah with the task of giving the Indian tally some semblance of respectability.
Arriving at five, Rodrigues, who made his return to the side after a while, didn’t succumb to the pressure and scored crucial points, hitting three fours and a six, with Deepti Sharma playing second fiddle with a 17 on 8 balls. .
Topics discussed in this article