Deepti Sharma and Shafali Verma picked up three wickets each as India beat Bangladesh by eight runs in the second Twenty20 International in Mirpur on Tuesday. With the last-over win, India have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur chose to bat after winning the toss, but Bangaldesh did well to restrict India to 95/6, their lowest T20I total against the side. Shafali top-scored with 19 off 14 balls while Sultana Khatun starred for Bangladesh with bowling figures of 3/21 in four overs.
In reply, Bangladesh managed to score 87 before being bowled out in 20 overs. Captain Nigar Sultana top-scored with 38 off 55 balls while the rest of her batting partners continued to fall to the Indian bowlers. Deepti (3/12) and Minnu Mani (2/9) were the stand-out bowling performances before Shafali came on to bowl the last over with 10 runs to defend and finished with 3/15, including a run-out to her name.
India may have thought that they would get a good total with an opening stand of 33 after 4 overs between batters Smriti Mandhana and Shafali. But a batting collapse was triggered by Smriti getting bowled by Nahida Akter when trying to slog sweep. Sultana Khatun turned the match on its head when she dismissed Shafali and Harmanpreet, the latter for a duck, in successive balls, leaving India 33/3 just an over later.
The middle order struggled to score any boundaries between overs six and 13 with the Bangladesh spinners putting the stranglehold on the Indian batters. Harleen Deol (who was dismissed by Sultana in the 14th over) and Jemimah Rodrigues (who fell to Rabeya Khan at the start of the 13th over) both consumed 21 balls each for their scores of 6 and 8 respectively.
In the end, the visitors had Amanjot Kaur to thank for having something to defend as the no 8 batter struck two boundaries in her score of 14 off 17 balls.
Defending a low total, India didn’t get off to a good start as right-arm medium pacer Pooja Vastrakar conceded 10 runs in her only over of the match. Captain Harmanpreet soon made the change, bringing on Minnu and Deepti to get the breakthroughs. The duo dismissed Bangladesh openers Shamima Sultana and Shathi Rani in consecutive overs. It was left to captain Nigar to steer the chase for the home side.
Part-timer Jemimah was brought on as an additional spin option, but Nigar managed to stitch together two crucial partnerships in the middle - 34 runs with Shorna for the fifth wicket and 22 runs with Nahida for the sixth wicket.
Nigar survived a dropped catch by Harleen and a missed stumping chance by Yastika before the Indian wicketkeeper redeemed herself when presented with a second chance, stumping Nigar off Deepti’s bowling in the 19th over. After that, Shafali picked up all three of her wickets in the final over and initiated a run-out to bowl out Bangladesh and seal the eight-run win.
After the game, India captain Harmanpreet indicated that she wanted to ensure the young bowlers like Minnu and Anusha Bareddy (1/20) had the faith of the team.
“In this series we have a couple of young bowlers who are going to take responsibility and bowl for us. Important for us to trust them. We are not going to hide them in the field,” said Harmanpreet at the post-match presentation ceremony.