The Indian women's cricket team were looking to continue their juggernaut in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Australia. Harmanpreet Kaur & Co who have already qualified for the semi-finals wanted to finish at the top of Group A. Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and decided to bat first in a good Junction Oval pitch.
The Sri Lankans started off cautiously as both Umesha Thimashini and Chamari Athapaththu looked to see the Indian bowlers and punish the bad balls. But it was Deepti Sharma who drew the first blood in the third over of the game as Thimashini played one straight to Rajeshwari Gayakwad. However, Athapaththu wasn't affected by the fall of the wicket and she kept playing her shots.
Athapaththu took the pressure back to the Indian bowlers as the Sri Lankan skipper scored 33 off 24 balls which included 5 fours and 1 six. It was the spin of Radha Yadav which got the better off the Sri Lankan skipper as she found Shikha Pandey at the deep square leg. It was then Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav who spun a web around the Sri Lankan batters and got the wickets in the middle overs as the islanders found themselves at 78 for 6 in the 15th over.
Kavisha Dhilari provided the finishing touches as she scored 25 off 16 balls which included 2 boundaries as Sri Lanka ended with 113 for 9 at the end of 20 overs. Radha Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets and Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 2 important wickets as Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav all picked one wicket each.
With India needing 114 to win the final group stage encounter. India were hoping for Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur to get back in runs. Smriti Mandhana got off to a quick start which helped her take off pressure from her young 16-year-old partner Shafali Verma who has been in good touch in this tournament. Smriti Mandhana scored a quickfire 17 before holding out to Kavisha Dhilari at mid-on. Mandhana scored 17 runs off 12 balls which included 3 boundaries.
After the loss of the first wicket, Harmanpreet promoted herself up the order as the Indian captain wanted to get back in runs. She scored 15 runs which included 2 fours and 1 six. Shafali Verma was again at her best as the 16-year-old again took the game away from the opponent as Shafali scored a well compiled 47 off 34 balls which included 7 classy boundaries and 1 six. It was then up to Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues to finish the game for India and help India remain top of the points table. Deepti Sharma finished the game in style as she slog-swept the ball for four, helping India win the game by 7 wickets.
India remained on the top of Group A with four wins from four games.
Sri Lanka 113/9 in 20 Overs ( Chamari Athapaththu 33, Kavisha Dhilari 25, Radha Yadav 4/23) lost to India 116/3 in 14.4 Overs (Shafali Verma 47, Smriti Mandhana 17, Udeshika Prabodhani 1/13) by 7 wickets.
Here are the tweets from today's game:
Very Well Played #TeamIndia W.— Dr Khushboo Kadri (@khushikadri) February 29, 2020
A Fab Effort To Collect This Comfortable Victory Against Sri Lanka By 7 Wickets
Brilliant Spell By Radha Yadav 4 Ov 24 Runs & 4Wickets Also The PlayerOfTheMatch
Superb Batting By Shefali Verma 47(34) 7-4s 1-6
Keep Up TheMomentum 🙌🏻#INDvSL W pic.twitter.com/8mZtKMoUWa
From “Women’s cricket is boring” to— Gaurav Sharma (@Gaurav_sharmaa) February 29, 2020
“Have you seen Shafali Verma bat?”
Shows the impact Shafali had in just her 17-18 games, especially, on the audience that doesn’t follow women’s cricket at all. #INDvSL #T20WorldCup