BENGALURU, March 15: Indian women’s cricket team produced a clinical performance as they thrashed their Bangladeshi counterparts by 72 runs in the opening group league fixture of the ICC World T20, here this evening.Batting first, India scored a healthy 163 for five with skipper Mithali Raj scoring 42 off 35 balls and the hard-hitting Harmanpreet Kaur smashing 40 off 29 balls with three fours and two huge sixes. In reply, Bangladesh could only manage 91 for five in 20 overs as they never looked like posing any challenge to the ‘Women In Blue’.
Put into bat, skipper Raj and her opening partner VR Vanitha (38, 24 balls, 7x4) added 62 runs for the opening wicket.
Brimming with confidence of being in good nick, the Indian captain started her innings by cracking back-to-back boundaries of Salma Khatun in the second over of the match. Mithali was lucky on 28 as Khadija Tul Kubra spilled a return catch. She was picked up by leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed, who foxed the batswoman, who ended up giving a dolly to Jahanara Alam.
With scoreboard reading 95 for 2 in 15th over, Harmanpreet upped the tempo with two sixes – one off Khadija’s bowling, hit over long-off and the other one was over deep mid-wicket off leg-break bowler Rumana.
Then in the 18th over, Harmanpreet clobbered two consecutive boundaries of Rumana. The shots were a treat to watch as she hammered one over midwicket and followed it up by whipping it between deep midwicket and long-on.
Harmanpreet, however lost her patience and was holed out to deep midwicket after she pulled Rumana into the hands of Nahida. Opener Vanitha also was severe against Salma as she punished the spinner for two boundaries in her second over.
Vanitha then changed gears, played some aerial shots to up the ante. First she lifted Lata Mondal straight through the line over mid-off by planting the foot forward. Vanitha executed a classy lofted shot straight down the ground off Fahima for a boundary before she fell to Nahida after putting up 62 runs for first wicket in 7.4 overs.
Brief scores: India 163/5 (Mithali raj 42, Harmanpreet Kaur 40, Veda Krishnamurthy 36 no, VR Vanitha 38)
Bangladesh 91/5 in 20 overs (Anuja Patil 2/16, Poonam Yadav 2/17). – PTI