Jemimah Rodrigues’ 57 powered India to beat Sri Lanka in their 2nd T20I at Colombo Cricket Club Ground on Saturday (September 22) and have a 2-0 lead in the series.
India had a not-so-big target of 131 to chase where Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana opened the innings for India. Mandhana got a life early in the first over but couldn’t do much as she was dismissed while trying to hit over the on side but the ball landed at keeper’s hand in the 3rd over.
After her dismissal, Jemimah Rodrigues joined Mithali Raj at the crease. They both added 37 runs for the second wicket before the latter got dismissed by giving an easy catch to Nilakshi de Silva at long on region. Pressure fell upon youngsters, Rodrigues and Bhatia to resurrect the innings but before they could manage to build a partnership, Bhatia went for 5 off 7. Rodrigues’ quickfire 27 took India to 58 at the end of the 10 overs with the loss of 3 wickets.
Rodrigues along with Captain Harmanpreet Kaur did a wonderful job with a steady partnership of 54 runs for the fourth wicket. Athapaththu took her counterpart in the 16th over, when Kaur was trying to hit big but ended up giving the catch to Kumari at mid-off.
Rodrigues got an early life which she utilised wonderfully. First six of India came from her bat in the 4th over when she hit Weerakoddy at long on. When she got settled, it was difficult for the Sri Lankans to dismiss her as she started hitting all around the ground. But after she reached her 2nd T20I half-century, she was caught by Prabodhani at deep square leg. Her blistering 57 off 40 comprised of 6 fours and 2 sixes. With 19 needed off 25 balls, Veda Krishnamurthy and Anuja Patil applied themselves well and handed over the win to India with 10 balls to spare.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka suffered an early loss of opener Mendis, who missed a delivery from Reddy in the 3rd over. Captain Athapaththu took the charge and started hitting all over the park. She hit Reddy to long-on for a six and took her team to 30 after 5 overs.
Captain, along with Siriwardene added 31 runs for the fifth wicket before Athapaththu got out by Radha Yadav. Siriwardene hit Radha Yadav for a boundary over cover and for a six over mid-wicket before her quickfire 35 off 32 came to an end in the 14th over. Nilakshi de Silva played a pivotal knock of 31 off 20 and helped her team to register 131 at the end of the 20 overs.
Though Sri Lanka tried their best to restrict India by taking early wickets but the visitor’s had the last laugh. Both the teams will play their fourth T20I on September 24 at the same venue.