Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav star as India beat Bangladesh

Shafali Verma powers one through the off-side. © Getty Images

India made it two in two as they downed Bangladesh by 18 runs in the T20 World Cup at the WACA in Perth on Monday (February 24). India’s victory was set up by Shafali Verma, who struck a belligerent 39 off just 17 balls. Her initial blitz gave India a resounding start which took them to a total above 140 before Poonam Yadav’s three wickets and Arundhati Reddy and Shikha Pandey’s two each restricted Bangladesh to just 124.
On a good bowling wicket, Bangladesh inserted India in. Shafali Verma was up and running with three sixes and India got off to a flier. The teenager was particularly harsh on Jahanara Alam as she collected 20 runs off two overs of Alam. Verma brought India’s fifty with a straight-six. But her joy was short-lived as, looking to go big again, she was caught at mid-off by Shamima Sultana off Panna Ghosh in the sixth over.
Bangladesh’s bowlers came back into the match by bowling some tight overs and were rewarded with the wickets of Harmanpreet Kaur (8) and Jemimah Rodrigues (34). Only 33 runs were scored from the seventh to the 13th over. India brought their hundred in the 15th over. Richa Ghosh, who replaced Smriti Mandhana, was quickly up and running with two boundaries before she was prised by Salma Khatun for an impressive 14. In the end, Veda Krishnamurthy’s valuable cameo of an unbeaten 20 took India to 142 for six. Salma Khatun and Panna Ghosh were the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh with two wickets each.
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In reply, Bangladesh got off to a poor start as they lost Shamima Sultana for just three. Murshida Khatun, though, took the attack to the opposition and caressed Sharma for three boundaries before a top-edge was put down by Verma. Bangladesh finished the power play at 33 for one. Arundhati Reddy finally broke the 39-run stand when Murshida departed for a well made 30. Bangladesh reached 50 in the ninth over with the required rate climbing to eight.
India consolidated nicely in the middle overs by picking up two more wickets. Bangladesh’s hopes firmly rested on their seasoned campaigner Nigar Sultana. The wicketkeeper-batter was excellent, coming down the track and scoring boundaries to keep Bangladesh in the hunt. They required 49 off the last five overs. Just when Nigar was looking to take the chase deep she departed for well-compiled 35, effectively ending Bangladesh’s hopes.
Yadav’s spell proved decisive as Bangladesh finished at 124 for the loss of eight wickets, losing by 18 runs.
Brief Scores: India 142/6 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 39, Jemimah Rodrigues 34; Panna Ghosh 2/25, Salma Khatun 2/25) beat Bangladesh 124/8 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 35, Murshida Khatun 30; Poonam Yadav 3/18, Shikha Pandey 2/14, Arundhati Reddy 2/33) by 18 runs. PoTM: Shafali Verma.