BAN v IND: Hemalatha, Radha help India go 2-0 up in rain-marred game

Dayalan Hemalatha remained unbeaten on 41 off 24 balls

Fayez Hoda
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Smriti Mandhana and Dayalan Hemalatha

On a rain-affected day, India did enough to beat Bangladesh by 19 runs (DLS Method) at the Sylhet Cricket Stadium on Tuesday (April 30) to go 2-0 up against the hosts in the five-match T20I series. Two women who were making their return to international cricket were the star performers for India. Radha Yadav picked up three-wickets while Dayalan Hemalatha who returned to international cricket after almost 17 months with Yastika Bhatia having a niggle, showcased her explosive batting in the powerplay to score an unbeaten 41 off just 24 balls.

Earlier opting to bat first, Bangladesh could not capitalise on a decent powerplay in an innings that included a rain-break. India restricted the hosts to 119 with the spinners taking wickets at regular intervals to stem the flow of runs. Radha, Deepti Sharma, and Shreyanka Patil picked up seven wickets between them to keep India in a commanding position going to the second innings.

Bangladesh’s intent in the powerplay

Bangladesh showed intent in the powerplay and they were 43 for 2 after six overs. Murshida Khatun and Shobhana Mostary looked aggressive in the powerplay despite losing opener Dilara Akhter who tried to slog sweep Deepti only to hole out to deep backward square-leg.

Murshida and Mostary took the attack to Renuka Singh Thakur scoring 12 runs in the third over. Renuka had an off day as she became the Indian bowler to concede the most runs against Bangladesh in a T20I.  Shreyanka got the important wicket of Shobhana who looked promising in her short stay by trapping her in front of the wicket.

Spin squeeze, Murshida’s resistance

The Indian spinners started to show their ability as the game went on and the ball grew older, which made things tough for Bangladesh. The hosts' innings was derailed when they lost three wickets in seven balls thanks to Radha Yadav's back-to-back wickets.

Although the batters had to get things started again after an hour of rain interruption, they had a fruitful phase where Murshida and Ritu Moni added 32 runs for the sixth wicket. Harmanpreet Kaur's dropped catch in the third over gave Murshida an early respite in her innings, and she persevered in stabilizing one end.

But Bangladesh found it difficult to get going as India continued to take wickets at regular intervals. Deepti Sharma had an excellent outing with the ball taking two wickets while giving away only 14 runs in her four overs. With just 16 runs scored in the last four overs, India ended the first innings on a commanding note.

Hemalatha storm powers India to victory

Bangladesh made a solid start when Marufa Akter had Shafali Verma adjudged caught behind the wickets off the second ball for  a golden duck. But Hemalatha changed the game with a remarkable innings where she struck at a strike rate of 170.83.

After playing four dot balls in the opening over, Hemalatha demonstrated her versatility as a batter. She danced down the track against Sultana Khatun to hit the off spinner for a six to get things going. She then took on the pacers to hit three more fours with a few drives. She didn’t stop there and went on the attack against Bangladesh vice-captain Nahida Akter to hit a six and a four in the fifth over.

By the time rain returned at 5.2 overs, Hemalatha exploits were enough for India to win the game according to the DLS Method. From there, the rain kept getting heavier and the match was eventually called off giving India a convincing win.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 119/10 in 20 overs (Murshida Khatun 46, Sobhana Mostary 19: Radha Yadav 3/19, Deepti Sharma 2/14) lost to India 47/1 in 5.2 overs (Dayalan Hemalatha 41*; Marufa Akhter 1/11) by 19 runs (DLS Method) POTM: Dayalan Hemalatha