Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur showcased her skills at the start of the new international season, smashing a brilliant half-century as the Indian women's team cruised to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the opening T20 International in Dhaka on Sunday.
Dominant Spin Bowling Restricts Bangladesh
Winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Indian spinners capitalized on the favourable conditions and effectively limited Bangladesh to a meagre total of 114 for 5.
In response, Harmanpreet (54 not out off 35 balls) and her deputy Smriti Mandhana (38 off 34 balls) joined forces, stitching together a crucial 70-run stand for the third wicket. Their partnership propelled India to comfortably chase down the target in just 16.2 overs.
Harmanpreet's Superb Batting Display
The skipper showcased her prowess with the bat, striking six boundaries and two sixes. She made the most of the two reprieves she received off left-arm spinner Nahida Akter's deliveries, further bolstering India's pursuit of victory.
Smriti Mandhana played a pivotal role for India as the pace-setter, unleashing a flurry of delightful boundaries. Her innings included five exquisite shots, including a blazing square cut off seamer Marufa Akter and an elegant inside-out lofted cover-drive. Her strokeplay was truly top-notch.
Bowlers Lay Foundation for Success
The Indian bowlers set the stage for the batters' comfortable chase, executing skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's bowling plan to perfection. Led by the experienced Deepti Sharma (0/14 in 4 overs), along with debutants Anusha Bareddy (0/24 in 4 overs) and Minnu Manni (1/21 in 3 overs), the spin attack dominated by focusing on one side of the wicket.
Shafali Verma's Impressive Spell
Leg-spinner Shafali Verma, mostly on target throughout her three overs, contributed to India's bowling prowess. Despite conceding a six to top-scorer Sorna Akhtar (28 off 28 balls), Verma remained effective and posed a constant threat.
In summary, Harmanpreet Kaur's commanding innings and the collective effort of the Indian spinners paved the way for a comprehensive victory in the opening T20 International against Bangladesh.