Bangladesh and India B make winning start to the Quadrangular T20 series

Yastika Bhatia in action. © Yastika Bhatia/Facebook

Bangladesh and India B registered comfortable victories over India A and Thailand respectively in their opening matches of Women’s Quadrangular T20 series on Thursday (January 16).
In the first match at Urja Stadium in Patna, allround Bangladesh eased past India A by five wickets. Bangladesh’s victory was set up largely by their bowlers, who restricted India A to just 96 runs. The architects of their victory were Fahima Khatun and Nigar Sultana.
Bangladesh won the toss and inserted India A in to bat in what appeared to be difficult conditions. The decision seemed vindicated when Jahanara Alam struck in the third ball of the innings to send Priya Punia packing for a duck. Madhuri Meheta and Nikita Chauhan then stabilized the innings with a vital 40-run stand for the second wicket. That partnership was the only one of any substance as Bangladesh’s bowlers kept things tight and were rewarded for their consistency when they ran through India A’s lower order for not many runs.
Bharti Fulmali’s unbeaten 22-ball 20 eventually took India A to 96 for the loss of six wickets. Fahima was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 17.
Chasing a modest target, Bangladesh started well courtesy their openers, Ayasha Rahman and Murshida Khatun. The duo put on a stand worth 33 runs, which laid the foundation for the run-chase. However, when both fell in quick succession for 14 and 20 respectively it seemed as if that had let India A back into the game.
Sultana and Fargana Hoque, though, had other plans as they stepped up for Bangladesh with a vital 40-run stand that all but sealed the deal in favour of the visitors. Sultana remained unbeaten on 32 to guide her team to victory with an over to spare.
In the second match of the day, India B thumped Thailand by 95 runs. Their victory was set up by Yastika Bhatia, S Meghana and Nupur Kohale. With bat in hand, Bhatia remained unbeaten on 65 and took India B to a challenging total, before Kohale picked up four wickets to dismiss Thailand for just 53 runs.
Electing to bat first, India B started solidly as their openers S Meghana and Bhatia put on 79 runs for the opening wicket. Meghana was the dominant of the two as she brought her fifty off just 40 balls, striking eight boundaries along the way. Thailand, in search of that elusive wicket, turned to Sornnarin Tippoch, their skipper, who sent Meghana packing for 55 runs. Soon, one become two as Sneh Rana, India B skipper, was out for a duck courtesy a run-out.
After that mini wobble, Bhatia took center stage and brought up her half century. Alongside Tejal Hasabnis (25), she shared a stand worth 66 runs which ensured India B finished on 148 for 3. Bhatia carried her bat, facing 52 balls and hitting nine fours.
Chasing a competitive target, Thailand got off to a disastrous start as they lost their top four for just 11 runs inside the power play. Nattakan Chantham, Nattaya Boochatham, Nannapat Koncharoenkai and Wongpaka Liengprasert were all back in the pavilion for zero, three, one and six respectively. Only Chanida Sutthiruang managed to reach double figures. She scored a 15-ball 22 and helped Thailand cross the 50-run mark. The visitors, however, were eventually bowled out for just 53 runs with 29 balls remaining in their innings.
Kohale, the left-arm spinner, was the star for India B with the ball as she picked up four wickets for just two runs.
Brief  scores:
India A 96/6 in 20 overs (Madhuri Meheta 29, Bharti Fulmali 20*; Fahima Khatun 2-17) lost to Bangladesh 97/5 in 19 overs (Nigar Sultana 32* Fargana Hoque 24; Rashi Kanojiya 2-17) by five wickets.
India B 148/3 in 20 overs (Yastika Bhatia 65*, S Meghana 55) beat Thailand 53 in 15.1 overs (Chanida Sutthiruang 22; Nupur Kohale 4-2, Tanuja Kanwer 2-7) by 95 runs.

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