Sylhet [Bangladesh], October 1 (ANI): Top knock from batter Jemimah Rodrigues helped India brave a brilliant spell by medium-pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe and took India to a modest 150/6 in 20 overs in their first Women's Asia Cup 2022 tie against Sri Lanka at Sylhet Outer Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
While Ranasinghe (3/32) troubled Indian batters from one end, Jemimah kept one end steady with her brilliant 76 off 53 balls and even had a 92-run stand with captain Harmanpreet Kaur (33).
Put to bat first by Sri Lanka, India was off to a miserable start as both the openers Shafali Verma (10) and Smriti Mandhana (6) were dismissed within the first four overs, with spinner Sugandika Kumari getting Mandhana and pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe getting Shafali, whose series to low scores got another addition. India was at 23/2.
At the end of powerplay in six overs, India stood at 33/2, with the new pair of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (0*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (17*) on the crease.
Kaur and Rodrigues continued to rebuild the innings following two early hiccups. Rodrigues showed a lot of attacking intent, finding gaps at will and even hitting Kavisha Dilhari for a huge six over long-on while coming down the pitch.
At the end of 10 overs, India's score read 61/2, with Kaur (6*) and Rodrigues (39*). The duo brought up their 50-run stand in 43 balls. Rodrigues also brought up her half-century in 38 balls, her eighth in the format.
The duo helped Women in Blue cross the 100-run mark in 14 overs. With six overs to go, Team India needed these two batters to launch another gear and score big in coming death overs.
At the end of 15 overs, India stood at 104/2, with Rodrigues (60*) and Kaur (27*). The duo kept the scoreboard ticking, Ranasinghe got her second wicket of the match, dismissing Harmanpreet for 33 off 30 balls, after she was stumped by wicketkeeper Anushka Sanjeewani. The 92-run stand between the duo was finally broken.
Dayalan Hemalatha was the next batter on the crease. Inoka Ranaweera was hit for two fours by Rodrigues, who looked very well on way to scoring a possible century.
Just when Rodrigues was looking threatening, SL skipper Chamari Athapaththu castled her stumps with a low-kept length ball. India was now at 135/4 in 18 overs. The batter was out for 76 off 53 balls with 11 fours and a six.
Richa Ghosh was next up on crease, joining Hemlatha to see India through the final twelve balls. But she could not do her job as Ranasinghe trapped her leg before wicket to remove her for nine runs off six balls, to get her third wicket of the match. With one over to go, India was at 145/5 and their chances at a competitive score had taken another hit.
Pooja Vastrakar was the next one to join Hemlatha. Vastrakar was run out for just one run. Deepti Sharma was next up on the crease. She took a single on the final ball to help India touch the 150-run mark. India finished at 150/6 in their 20 overs, with Deepti (1*) and Hemlatha (13*).
Ranasinghe was the leading bowler for SL as she got 3/32 in her four-over spell. Kumari and Athapathtu got one wicket each. (ANI)