Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Radha Yadav spins a web around Sri Lanka; India finish league stage unbeaten

Radha Yadav's brilliant figures of 4/23 helped India beat Sri Lanka and finish the group stage unbeaten.
Radha Yadav's brilliant figures of 4/23 helped India beat Sri Lanka and finish the group stage unbeaten.

Brief Scorecard:

Sri Lanka: 113-9 (20 overs)

Chamari Athapaththu 33(24), Kavisha Dilhari 25(16); Radha Yadav 4/23

India: 116-3 (14.4 overs)

Shafali Verma 47(34), Smriti Mandhana 17(12); Udeshika Prabodhani 1/13

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India have finished their group stage by beating Sri Lanka ending up with four wins from four games thanks to a brilliant spell of spin bowling from Radha Yadav and a great knock from the hard-hitting opener Shafali Verma.

Chasing 114 to win, once again India got off to a brisk start from both their openers. After Smriti Mandhana perished, Shafali Verma kept the runs ticking and played her natural game. Contributions from Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma ensured that India chased down the target with seven wickets in hand and more than five overs to spare.

Also see – PSL schedule

Earlier, Sri Lanka opted to bat first and intended to put runs on the board. Skipper Chamari Athapaththu lost her opening partner early but she kept on attacking the Indian bowlers. She scored a quick 33 off 24 balls including five fours and a six. But as it has happend throughout the tournament for Sri lanka, her wicket sucked out all the momentum and the Indian bowlers did not let them score easy runs. Sri Lanka thus could only manage to score 113-9 in their 20 overs.

Radha Yadav's brilliant spell

Chamari Athapaththu was indeed the biggest wicket in the opposition and while she was at the crease, Sri Lanka were in to post a competitive target. However, Radha Yadav ensured that it was not going to happen as Athapaththu was caught by Shikha Pandey off her bowling trying to up the ante.

She then took the wickets of Hansima Karunaratne and Hasini Perera and broke the back of the Sri Lankan middle-order, preventing momentum for them. Yadav rounded off her brilliant spell by trapping Anushka Sanjeewani in front and grabbed figures of 4/23.

Shafali Verma's lightning strikes again

India needed just 114 runs to win and a target less than a run-a-ball meant that they could have played normally. However, Shafali Verma was in no mood to waste time as she got off to a flying start. She continued tonking the ball down the ground and took full advantage of the powerplay. Smriti Mandhana's wicket did not disrupt the momentum as Verma continued to play her natural game. She scored 47 off just 34 balls which included 7 fours and a six and this led to the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues play at a run-a-ball speed and guide India home.

Radha Yadav's brilliant spell of 4/23 helped India restrict Sri Lanka to a very gettable score. Thus, she was adjudged as the player of the match. Here were her thoughts after the game -

I was just thinking of bowling stump to stump and tried to keep it simple. We did well as a bowling unit. And we need to keep this momentum going forward. Yeah, she's (Poonam) a legend.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was extremely happy by the performance of the team. She was especially satisfied with the win because the players did not show any signs of complacency as they had already qualified for the semi-finals. Here were the captain's thoughts after the game...

It's really important to keep the momentum when you are winning games. You really work hard, so you can't afford to lose that momentum. You can't bowl same pace and lengths on these wickets, so you need to keep rotating the bowlers. Today I tried to be positive and got a few boundaries. In the upcoming games I'll try to give my best. Shafali is someone who loves to play big shots, and we don't want to stop her. She should continue doing the same and she should continue enjoying her game.

India will play the first semi-final at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on March 5, 2020.

Also see | Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Hayley Jensen stars for New Zealand in low-scoring thriller

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Edited by rehaan díaz
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