We should credit our bowlers; they read pitch well, placed fielders accordingly, says Harmanpreet

India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur praised her bowlers for their stellar show in the side outplaying Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final of Women’s Asia Cup at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

She added that placing the fielders according to the nature of the pitch also worked well in their favour. On a pitch tailor-made for the spinners to excel as the ball kept low and turned square, pacer Renuka Thakur shone bright with 3-5 in three overs.

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-16) and off-spinner Sneh Rana (2-13) had economical spells with the ball apart from Deepti Sharma conceding just seven runs in her four overs to keep Sri Lanka to 65/9, which India chased down with 11.3 overs to spare.

“We should credit our bowlers. Our fielding unit was good from ball one and we discussed that we should not give away easy runs. You have to read the wicket and accordingly place the fielders in the right positions. We read the wicket well and position fielders accordingly,” said Harmanpreet in the post-match presentation ceremony.

In the chase, vice-captain and left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana smashed an unbeaten 25-ball 51 to give India their seventh Asia Cup title. “We were not looking at the scoreboard but only decided our five-over targets. We never thought about what is the total on the board and batted accordingly,” added Harmanpreet.

Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu was clearly unimpressed with her side’s batting display in the final but hoped that the runners-up finish in the tournament will give the team things to ponder ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup next year in South Africa.

“Tough day as a team. Not a good batting display in the finals. Really upset today. The next year we have the T20 World Cup and we have learnt a lot in this tournament. I am happy with my bowling unit. We have a couple of young players and I hope they do well as a batting unit. We don’t have a lot of experienced players but I hope the young players do well in the future.”

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