Indian bowlers thrashed the Sri Lankan women’s team by 34 runs following a crucial innings from Jemima Rodrigues in the first T20 International here on Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav (2/22) made an appearance right after the powerplay, defending a modest 139, dismissing dangerous-looking Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (16) and Harshita Madavi (10) in three balls.
Sri Lanka, reduced to 27 for three in seven overs, never managed to advance in the run chase, which was derailed by some hard bowling from pacer Deepti Pooja Vastrakar in the middle overs and 4-1- Went in a good 13 spell. -1.
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Deepti Sharma gave India a quick start by dismissing opener Vishmi Gunaratne (0) in the second over. The senior off-spinner was at her best in the powerplays and came back with figures of 3-1-9-1 to halt Sri Lanka’s progress early.
Deepti also took a brilliant catch running from deep square leg and gave Radha her second wicket of the day.
Kavisha Dilhari wrestled a lone battle for the hosts with a 49-ball 47 (6×4), but the Indians’ top-class bowling and fielding ensured that her team went 1-0 up in the three-match series. Be the easy winner to take the lead. ,
The hosts needed 78 runs from the last five overs and Kavisha slammed her for fours against Harmanpreet Kaur and Radha.
But this proved to be insufficient as the Indians stifled the home team’s run rate by denying the Islanders any six in their innings.
Shafali Verma added to Sri Lanka’s misery by dismissing Ama Kanchana (11) for 104 for five in the death overs.
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The second match of the series is to be held on Saturday.
Opting to bat, India lost opener Smriti Mandhana (1) in the third over of the game, falling victim to veteran spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe, 25, while she was freeing her arms. She makes a toss-up delivery to Chamari Aththapatu straight at mid-on.
Sabbhineni Meghna was out for a golden duck, which was sent back to the dressing room by old warrior Ranasinghe.
After losing two wickets early and under pressure in hot and humid Dambulla, it was left to the pair of Harmanpreet and Shefali Verma to control the situation.
A well-settled Verma was the next to go, with Athapatu trying to go maximum on 31.
The Lankans’ smart bowling ensured that they soon found their biggest breakthrough when spinner Inoka Ranvira caught Harmanpreet (22) in front of the wicket in the 11th over.
Ranveera picked up two more wickets to send back wicketkeeper-batsmen Richa Ghosh (11) and Pooja Vastrakar (14) and posted 106 for six in 17 overs and left the task of giving Jemima a glimmer of respect to the Indian total.
Coming to five, Rodrigues, who returned to the side after a while, did not succumb to the pressure and scored some crucial runs, including three fours and a six, as Deepti Sharma smashed her second innings of 17 runs off 8 balls. ,
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