Indian women cricketers put it across Bangladesh by 10 runs to win the third and final T20 international match at the Reliance Sports Complex Ground in Vadodara on Friday.
With this win, the hosts have completed a 3-0 whitewash over their opponents.
Earlier, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and opted to take first strike. For the third time in as many matches, the team management tinkered with the openers and tried out another combination in Mona Meshram and Smriti Mandhana.
It may be mentioned here that regular openers Poonam Raut and Thirush Kamini opened the innings in the first T20 tie, while Anagha Deshpande and Mona Meshram performed the opener roles in the second T20 game.
The Mona-Smriti combo rose to the occasion, scoring at a decent clip and rotating the strike. The duo raised a fine half-century opening partnership inside the first eight overs.
Mona showed her aggressive intent from the start, belting three boundaries in her 34-ball 22 when she was consumed by spinner Fahima Khatum with the team’s score on 53.
If Mona exuded positive intent, 16-year-old Smriti was a picture of concentration, showing maturity beyond her years.
The right-handed Mumbai-born batswoman held the innings together after the fall of Mona’s wickets. She kept the Bangladesh fielders busy running the ones and twos besides depositing the loose deliveries to the fence.
She seemed to relish the company of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur as they added thirty vital runs for the second wicket to maintain the momentum.
Shukhtara Rahman gave Bangladesh a lot of joy when she cleaned up Smriti for 39 – her knock came off 36 balls with four hits to the fence.
Bangladesh then hit back through medium-pacer Panna Ghosh, who showed the pavilion way to Harmanpreet Kaur and V Sneha Deepthi to reduce India eves to 86 for 4 in the 14th over, after they at one stage looked poised to go for the kill at 84 for 1 with two well set batswomen at the crease.
The Indian innings disintegrated as they lost a flurry of wickets at the death overs as they huffed and puffed their way to 123 for 9 off their allotted 20 overs. Only four batswomen reached double-figures, which just shows how the lower-order buckled.
Set 124 to pull off a consolation win, Bangladesh did not get the desired start through their openers Shukhtara Rahman and Ayesha Akhter, who both perished without creating any impact on the Indian bowlers.
Lata Mondal scored a breezy 32 while the lower-order batswomen Rumana Ahmed and Ritu Moni threw their bats around but they were restricted to 113 for 7 off their stipulated 20 overs. Poonam Yadav bagged three wickets for India.
Both teams would now play in a three-match ODI series beginning on April 8 in Ahmedabad.