Jemimah’s unbeaten 36 helped India beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series. (Photo Credits: BCCI)
Dambulla: Radha Yadav’s two-wicket haul was backed by Jemima Rodrigues’ unbeaten 36 to register a 34-run win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla on Thursday. It was a poor day for Sri Lanka’s batting unit as they couldn’t do much with the bat on difficult surfaces and their bowlers restricted India to 138/6 in their 20 overs despite dominating the proceedings in the first T20I .
With this win, India take the series lead with a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series. The visitors were very nice and did not let the partnership prosper for long. For Sri Lanka, Kavisha Dilhari scored an unbeaten 46 and was the top scorer for the team. For India, Radha Yadav took two important wickets while Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma took one wicket each. Chasing 139, Sri Lanka had a poor start and lost their opener Vishmi Gunaratne with a single run.
Deepti Sharma gave this big success to the Indian team. Harshita Madavi then came to bat at the crease and tried to open the innings with captain Chamari Athapaththu. The Sri Lankan captain batted aggressively and in the fifth over he hit two consecutive fours off Radha Yadav. In the seventh over of the innings, Athapaththu fell victim to a brilliant delivery from Radha Yadav as she tried to hit a boundary but was caught by Rajeshwari Gaikwad for 16 off 19 balls.
After this Kavisha Dilhari came to bat. In the same seventh over, Yadav struck again and dismissed Madvi, who scored just 10 runs in 17 balls. Right-handed batsman Nilakshi de Silva then came to bat and shook hands with Dilhari to keep the team’s momentum going. Dilhari and de Silva played carefully to make sure they didn’t lose any more wickets.
After 10 overs, Sri Lanka’s score became 41/3. After 11 overs, the hosts needed 93 runs in 54 balls. In the 13th over of the innings, Pooja Vastrakar gave her team a major breakthrough as she dismissed de Silva with Sri Lanka’s score of 54/4. Ama Kanchana came to the crease after de Silva’s wicket. In the 14th over of the innings, Shafali Verma gave a brilliant spell giving only 3 runs.
At this point in the match, Sri Lanka’s batsmen struggled to get a single run as the Indian bowlers were too cheap to give away runs. Later Ama Kanchana became a victim of Verma’s delivery after scoring 11 runs in 10 balls. After this Anushka Sanjeevani came to bat but at that time it was impossible for the hosts to complete the remaining 51 runs in 10 balls. In the last over, the hosts tried to counterattack and hit two fours, but to no avail.
Renuka Singh did not allow the Lankan batsmen to collect much runs in the 20th match and restricted them to 104/5 after 20 overs of play. Earlier, batting first, India had a poor start, losing openers Smriti Mandhana (1) and Sabbhineni Meghna (0) to pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe in two successive balls of the fourth over. Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu took two brilliant catches in both the outs.
After both dismissals, it was in the hands of opener Shafali Verma and captain Harmanpreet Kaur to rebuild things for India. At the end of six overs, India stood 32/2, with Harmanpreet Kaur (10*) and Shafali Verma (18*) in fine form hitting four boundaries. He was dismissed for 31 off 31 balls by skipper Athapaththu, after which he was caught at long on by Nilakshi de Silva.
India were at 58/3 at the end of 10 overs with Harmanpreet Kaur (22*) and Jemima Rodrigues (1*). Soon, skipper Kaur was dismissed for 22 by spinner Inoka Ranvira, plunging India to 58/4. Thereafter, Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh, the wicketkeeper-batsman, had to rebuild. But the 23-run stand came to an abrupt end when Ranaveera dismissed him for 11 from the safe hands of Anoushka Sanjeevani.
With this, half of the Indian team was back on 81 runs. At the end of 15 overs, the Indian team was on 85/5 with Pooja Vastrakar (3*) and Jemima Rodrigues (12*). Both were a pair. A short partnership of 25 runs, which ended with Vastrakar being dismissed for 14 after being bowled by Ranveera. Jemima Rodrigues stood in the middle of it all, keeping one end still.
India finished their innings on 138/6 with Rodrigues (36*) and Deepti Sharma (17*) scoring 3/30 for Sri Lanka by Inoka Ranvira. Oshadi Ranasinghe also took two wickets while Athapathu took one. Brief scores: India 138/6 in 20 overs (Jemima Rodrigues 36*, Shafali Verma 31, Inoka Ranvira 3/30) vs Sri Lanka (Kavisha Dilhari 46*, Chamari Athapaththu 16; Radha Yadav 2-22).
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