India: 142-6 (20 overs)
Bangladesh: 124-8 (20 overs)
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India made it two in two in their Women's T20 World Cup campaign as they beat Bangladesh by 18 runs, thanks to a brilliant cameo up top by Shafali Verma and some great bowling from Poonam Yadav (who ended with figures of 3/18).
Bangladesh lost Shamima Sultana early but Murshida Khatun played her natural game and kept the scoreboard ticking. She scored 30 off 26 balls before being caught off the bowling of Arundhati Reddy. Wicketkeeper Nigar Sultana then tried to keep Bangladesh in the game with a fighting knock of 35 off just 26 balls. But it was Poonam Yadav's day again with the ball as she picked up figures of 3/18 and helped restrict Bangladesh to just 124-8 in their 20 overs.
Earlier, India were put in to bat and were immediately put under pressure as Smriti Mandhana was not playing the game due to viral fever. However, Shafali Verma did not make India feel her absence as she smashed 39 runs off just 17 balls and gave India yet another flying start. But she could not continue her innings after that and was dismissed inside the powerplay. Jemimah Rodrigues tried to keep the momentum going with a well-made 34, but her run-out and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's poor form saw India slip further. Veda Krishnamurthy's late hitting provided India with a total of 142 in their 20 overs.
Shafali Verma's blitzkrieg
Shafali Verma is beginning to build her reputation as one of the most destructive batters going around in women's cricket as she was able to provide yet another explosive start for India. In the absence of Mandhana, Verma stepped up and began to tonk the Bangladesh bowlers down the ground. She found an able partner in Jemimah Rodrigues and the duo gave India a solid powerplay. Verma scored 39 off just 17 balls, which included two fours and four massive sixes.
Poonam Yadav spins a web again
The star of the game against Australia, Poonam Yadav was difficult to handle for the Bangladesh batters too as her flight and deception in the air, coupled with the lack of pace, made it difficult to hit her for runs. She first struck with the wicket of Sanjida Islam, who tried to up the ante but was caught by wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia. Fahima Khatun then looked dangerous and threatened to take the game away from India. But she too fell prey to the deception of Poonam and was caught by Shafali Verma. Jahanara Alam was her third wicket as she was stumped by Bhatia. India's comprehensive win by 18 runs was a testimony to Poonam's excellent bowling figures of 3/18.
Shafali Verma was India's star with the bat and it was her whirlwind knock of 39 that helped India post the tournament's highest score so far. Her impact on the game earned her the Player of the Match award.
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Here are her thoughts after the game:
Since Mandhana wasn't around, I wanted to take the responsibility to stay around and give India a good start. I've been practising hitting the ball hard and I would like to bring the team more success in the future. I'd like to continue doing this, help India win matches and ultimately win us the World Cup.Published 24 Feb 2020, 21:32 IST