Sylhet: Stand-in India captain Smriti Mandhana was pleased with how the side came back to thrash Bangladesh by 59 runs in the Women’s Asia Cup 24 hours after suffering a shock 13-run loss to Pakistan, saying that she was really proud of the performance put in by the team.
Electing to bat first, Smriti made an attacking 47 and shared a 96-run stand for the first wicket with Shafali Verma, who smacked a fine 55. Though Bangladesh made a fightback by dismissing the duo and took some scalps in the end, Jemimah Rodrigues hit an unbeaten 35 off 24 balls as India posted 159/5 in 20 overs. The bowlers then rose to the occasion to restrict Bangladesh to 100/7 in their 20 overs.
“It was disappointing in the last match the way we played. We came back well (after the loss to Pakistan). Really proud of the girls. Today it was a total team performance. Shafali batted well at the start, Jemi did well in the end. I liked Deepti’s approach for those five balls. We could have scored 10 runs more while batting,” said Smriti in the post-match presentation ceremony.
With the ball, Shafali and Deepti Sharma took two wickets each while Renuka Thakur and Sneh Rana had a scalp each in a bowling show where everyone’s economy rate was below eight
“We were clinical as a bowling unit. We have to keep bowling dot balls and make them make mistakes. It is not easy for pace bowlers on this track to pick wickets. All of them actually bowled really well,” added Smriti.
Shafali, named Player of the Match for her all-round performance, was happy over getting her first T20I fifty since March 2021 and break the chain of low scores. “I am always thinking about what the team wants (with bat and ball) and am always ready for that. I was thinking about bowling in good areas. While batting, it was tough because the ball was coming low.”
“It’s all because of the hard work and it (half-century) has come after a long time, so I am happy. Want to thank my family and friends for their support. We are very happy with our performance, everyone played really well.”
Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana was left to rue her side’s inability to stop the Indian openers from getting to 59/0 in the power-play and her openers not getting an explosive start in the stiff chase. “We didn’t bowl well in the powerplay, we bowled too many loose balls. We couldn’t get many runs in our powerplay either.”
“Our main bowlers couldn’t execute their plans. We could’t capitalize on the loose deliveries when we were batting though. Rumana (Ahmed, 3/27 in three overs) came in later, in order to compromise for the runs leaked by the bowlers in the powerplay.”