Powerless after power play: Here’s what led to India’s series-clinching win over Bangladesh

Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana guided India to a seven-wicket in the third T20I after Bangladesh's middle-order collapsed yet again.

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Bangladesh could manage 117 in 20 overs after an explosive power play © Getty

India’s bowling unit, along with Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana, starred in the visitors’ series-sealing victory over Bangladesh on Thursday (May 2). Nigar Sultana Joty’s side was restricted to a total of 117 runs after a promising start to the first innings, which was easily chased by India’s opening pair as they stitched together a 91-run stand.  

Bangladesh has become a happy hunting ground for India in the shorter format as this is the visiting side’s second consecutive T20I series win east of the border. Last time in the three-match T20I series in Mirpur in July 2023, the hosts did make it challenging for India, but Harmanpreet Kaur’s side came out on top, winning 2-1. 

Bangladesh’s flying start and India’s comeback

Bangladesh were in the driver’s seat in the opening six overs. Despite battling damp and overcast conditions with a slow outfield, Dilara Akter gave her side a good start. The home side scored 44 runs in the powerplay, with most of the contribution coming from Akter’s aggressive batting display.

India dropped a couple of chances to dismiss the dangerous opener. The first one came in the fifth over when Harmanpreet Kaur’s dropped catch could have sent Akter back to the pavilion on 27 runs. Akter received her second lifeline when Sajana Sajeevan dropped her in the very next over when she was batting on 31 runs. 

Bangladesh’s risky running between the wickets is what ultimately cost them a much-needed productive partnership which could have put pressure on Indian bowlers. There was continuous misunderstanding between the openers, Akter and Murshida Khatun, which gave India another chance to dismiss the former. However, the bowling side yet again failed to capitalise on the opportunity. The home side ran out of luck eventually as another miscommunication between the batters led to Khatun’s dismissal, that too, on a free hit.

After a successful powerplay, Bangladesh slowed down their innings, thanks to Indian spinners. Akter followed her opening partner’s way back to the dressing room in the eighth over after getting caught behind off Renuka Singh Thakur. Skipper Joty fought the spin along with Sobhana Mostary, but they struggled to accelerate Bangladesh’s score. Their 30-run partnership was broken when another incident of poor running between the wickets cost Mostary her wicket while looking for a quick single. 

The lack of boundaries put further pressure on the Bangladeshi batting lineup. No boundaries were scored between the 13th over and the 16th over. The home side succumbed to the pressure as Indian bowlers ran riot in the death overs, restricting Bangladesh’s total to just 117 runs. 

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Spin magic in Sylhet

While the entire Indian bowling lineup succeeded in limiting Bangladesh’s total, it was the spinners who turned out to be the most productive and economical. Deepti Sharma, despite not picking up any wicket, bowled with an economy of 4.50, conceding just 18 runs in her spell. Radha Yadav, who headlined India’s win in the second T20I, starred yet again picking up back-to-back wickets while conceding just 22 runs in four overs. Shreyanka Patil also snatched one wicket with an economy of six runs per over. 

Although Bangladesh were unable to stop India from chasing the total, the spinners had their fair share of moments of pure class. The dismissals of Verma and Mandhana were followed by a few low-scoring overs which were enjoyed by the spinners. Leg-spinner Fahima Khatun was the most economical bowler in the entire game, conceding 10 runs in three overs. Additionally, two of India’s wickets were clinched by Nahida Akter and Rabeya Khan. 

Sylhet’s pitch has surprisingly been a spinners’ paradise in this T20I series. Out of the 11 fallen wickets in the third T20I, five were picked by slow bowlers, compared to three wickets bagged by seamers. Besides the spinners' success with the dismissals, they have also had economical bowling spells throughout the series, highlighting their effectiveness in Bangladeshi conditions.