Friday, July 19, 2024

1st T20I: Harmanpreet slams 54 not out as India register easy seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur slammed 54 not out off 35 balls in leading India to an easy seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first T20I at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Chasing 115 on a sluggish pitch after Bangladesh were restricted to a below-par 114/5, India lost Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues early in the power-play. But Harmanpreet, who was dropped on 24, made full use of the reprieve to hit six fours and two sixes in her unbeaten knock of 54 at a strike rate of 154.29.

She also shared a decisive 70-run partnership with Smriti Mandhana, who made a 34-ball 38, for India to seal the win with 22 balls to spare. The win also means that India have taken 1-0 lead in the three-game series, with the next game to be held on Tuesday.

India suffered an early jolt when young pacer Marufa Akhter found some swing to trap Shafali Verma lbw for a two-ball duck in the opening over. After Smriti got off the mark with a backfoot cut for four, Jemimah was elegant in placing her on-drive and square cut for a brace of fours off Marufa.

But in an attempt to cut off Sultana Khatun in the fourth over, Jemimah tried to cut off the delivery, but the ball stayed low and lack of pace on it took the inside edge to crash into the stumps.

Smriti and Harmanpreet were in good nick, by getting boundaries regularly. While Smriti was great in her cuts, lofts and pulls, Harmanpreet varied between using her feet to drive and loft against spinners while also employing the sweep and pull to good effect.

After Sultana made a mess of an attempt to have Harmanpreet caught out on 24, the Indian skipper hoicked and swept Rabeya Khan for six and four respectively.

Though Smriti was stumped from behind off Sultana by a sharp turning delivery, Harmanpreet got her 11th T20I fifty with a massive slog-sweep for six off Salma Khatun and finished off the chase in style with a swipe through the leg-side for four.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 114/5 in 20 overs (Shorna Akter 28 not out, Sobhana Mostary 23; Pooja Vastrakar 1-16, Shafali Verma 1-18) lost to India 118/3 in 16.2 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 54 not out, Smriti Mandhana 38; Sultana Khatun 2-25, Marufa Akter 1-18) by seven wickets



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