While the India men’s team is struggling in New Zealand, the women’s team is giving lots of joy to the Indian fans as after beating fancied Australia in their opening game, India beat Bangladesh by 18 runs in a well contested game at WACA, Perth and thereby are well on the road for the knockout rounds. Bangladesh women’s cricket have their own T20 league back home ,so is an opponent which could not be taken lightly. Batting first without their regular opener Smriti Mandhana ( down with fever) India lost Bhatia cheaply but Shefali Verma (39 off 17 balls ) and Jeimima Rodrigues (34) had a crucial partnership which set up India in the game . Verma played another explosive innings of 39 off 17 balls with 4 sixes. It is amazing for a 16 year old to have so much power in her shots and she mostly plays orthodox cricket shots with great timing and power. She is the women’s version of Virender Sehwag and is a trump card in T20s for India’s batting. However off form of skipper Harmanpreet is a concern for India as she was dismissed cheaply again. Bangladesh bowlers did well to restrict India in middle orders till Veda Krishmurthy played a quick cameo of 20 off 11 balls to take India to 142.
India’s formidable bowling was always going to be challenging for Bangladesh and so it was proved in their chase as though they tried valiantly, they could not raise the runrate to alarming proportions to threaten India as once again Poonam Yadav (3/18) and Shikha Pandey (2/14) ensured India’s win by 18 runs.
With Mandhana expected to be back in next game, India looks high on momentum and hoping that their skipper strikes form soon.
Elsewhere, Australia were briefly threatened by Srilanka as in their chase of a modest Srilanka total of 122, the home team were rocked initially at 10/3. However skipper Lanning (41no) and Haynes (60) ensured a crucial 5 wicket win for Australia after their unexpected loss to India in first game.