The Indian women’s team registered their second successive win of the tournament defeating Bangladesh by 18 runs played at WACA Stadium, Perth on Monday.
Bangladeshi captain Salma Khatun won the toss and decided to field first. Taniya Bhatia who came to open the innings replacing Smriti Mandhana looked edgy but Shafali Verma was in sensational form with big sixes in the first two to three overs which put pressure on Bangladesh bowlers. Bangladeshi Salma Khatun got the wicket of Bhatia. Jemimah Rodrigues came to the crease and looked busy with her stroke play. Verma kept the pressure on Bangladesh bowlers with superb hitting. In an attempt to hit another big shot, Verma was caught by Shamima Sultana on the third attempt. Rodrigues and Verma added 37 runs for the 2nd wicket. At the end of six overs, India were 54 for 2.
After the power play overs, Rodrigues looked in great touch rotating the strike and hitting occasional boundaries. Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur struggled and was dismissed by Panna Ghosh. Jemimah Rodrigues was run out by Nahida Akter which left India in trouble at 92 for 4. Richa Ghosh who was included in the XI played a cameo scoring 14 off 14 balls.
Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishna Murthy were involved in a miscommunication which resulted in Deepti run out. Veda Krishna Murthy hit 15 runs off Akter bowling. Shikha Pandey did her job by remaining not out on 7 off 9 balls. Veda and Shikha added 29 unbeaten runs for the 7th wicket. India posted 142 for 6 in 20 overs.
Chasing 143 runs to win, it was not an ideal start for Bangladesh as Shamima Sultana was dismissed by Shikha Pandey for 3. Murshida Khatun impressed with his stroke play and took the attack to Indian bowlers. Sanjida Islam struggled for her timing and could not rotate the strike. At the end of six overs, Bangladesh were 33 for 1.
After the power play overs, Arundhati Reddy got the big wicket of Murshida for 30. Murshida and Sanjida added 39 runs for the 2nd wicket. Poonam Yadav showed her class and dismissed the struggling Sanjida Islam with a review by Poonam. The umpire gave it not out and on review, there was an edge. Nigar Sultana impressed with her stroke play and showed her class. With 49 runs required off 5 overs, Poonam Yadav was bought into the attack and dismissed Khatun for 17. Khatun and Nigar added 28 runs for the 5th wicket. Jahanara Alam hit 10 off 10 balls before being dismissed by Poonam Yadav.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad dismissed the dangerous Nigar Sultana for 35 which ended Bangladesh’s hopes of winning the match. Rumana Ahmed tried her best but it was too little too late. India restricted Bangladesh to 124 for 8 in 20 overs.
Indian women 142 for 6 in 20 overs ( Shafali Verma 39, Jemimah Rodrigues 34, Salma Khatun 2/25, Panna Ghosh 2/25) beat Bangladesh 124 for 8 in 20 overs ( Nigar Sultana 35, Murshida Khatun 30, Poonam Yadav 3/18, Shikha Pandey 2/14) by 18 runs.
Shafali Verma for her 39 off 17 balls was awarded the player of the match. India has now 4 points from 2 games and moved up to the top of the points table. India will take on New Zealand in their 3rd match on 27th February.