Shafali, Poonam take driver’s seat in India’s 18-run win against Bangladesh

India won their opening match against Australia with Poonam Yadav picking up four wickets

India vs Bangladesh, India women, Women's T20 World Cup, Shafali Varma, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian batswoman Shafali Verma plays a shot during the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA in Perth, Australia. Photo: @ICC/Twitter

It was yet again a day of the youngsters when leg-spinner Poonam Yadav delivered with timely dismissals and opener Shafali Verma gave a flying start to lead India to a comfortable 18-run win over Bangladesh in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match,  on Monday (February 24).

After being put to bat first, the 16-year-old batter’s fiery 39 runs off 17 balls, combined with a substantial partnership paved way for the Indian women to post a competitive 142 for six at the WACA ground.

India vs Bangladesh, India women, Women's T20 World Cup, Shafali Varma, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian Women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur speaks to the huddle during the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA in Perth, Australia. Photo: @ICC/Twitter

However, the Indian innings never got impetuous after Verma’s departure, who hit four sixes and two fours in her entertaining knock. Later, Veda Krishnamurthy (20 off 11) hit few lusty blows to help India post a fighting total.

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Bangladesh fought through Murshida Khatun (30) and Nigar Sultana (35) but Poonam rattled the middle and lower order with her strikes.

Related news: Women’s T20 World Cup: Poonam spins India to win opener against Australia

In the end, Bangladesh could manage 124 for eight, giving India their second straight win in the tournament.

“The way Shafali and Richa played today, they showed how capable they are for the team. Veda’s innings was turning point. We needed boundaries at that point and she did a great job,” India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said.

India vs Bangladesh, India women, Women's T20 World Cup, Shafali Varma, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian bowler Poonam Yadav celebrates after dismissing a Bangladesh batswoman in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, in Perth, Australia. Photo: @BCCIWomen/Twitter

Poonam, who had helped India halt Australia’s chase in their opening game as well, was the top bowler again. She scalped Sanjida Islam (10), Fahima Khatun (17) and Jahanara Alam (10) to make it tough for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh needed 49 runs from the last five overs but they failed to negotiate Poonam’s flighted deliveries.

Related news: Confident India to face plucky Bangladesh in T20 World Cup

The Indian spinner had Fahima caught by Shafali in the first ball of the 16th over while Rajeshwari Gaekwad saw the back of well-set Nigar Sultana.

Poonam then returned to dismiss Jahanara, who stepped out looking for a big hit only to be stumped by Taniya. The runs dried up and Bangladesh now needed 22 off the final over.

India vs Bangladesh, India women, Women's T20 World Cup, Shafali Varma, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian batswoman Shafali Verma plays a shot during the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA in Perth, Australia. Photo: @BCCIWomen/Twitter

Pacer Shikha Pandey clean bowled Rumana Ahmed with a perfect yorker and writing was clear on the wall.

Earlier, Shafali punished the rival attack with her fluent stroke-making.

Attempting a big one, Shafali skied one off veteran Panna Ghosh and was dismissed, caught by wicket-keeper Shamima Sultana. This was after fellow opener Taniya Bhatia (2) was sent back by Salma Khatun. Shafali turned out to be the best scorer in India’s innings.

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Jemimah Rodrigues played a sedate yet crucial 34-run knock since hard-hitting skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was already dismissed by Ghosh. With both Shafali and Harmanpreet cooling their heels back in the dugout, India’s run-rate took a dip.

Jemimah erred in judgement while calling Deepti for a single and was run out.

India vs Bangladesh, India women, Women's T20 World Cup, Shafali Varma, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian Women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur speaks to the huddle during the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA in Perth, Australia. Photo: @BCCIWomen/Twitter

Richa Ghosh, who replaced Smriti Mandhana in the playing XI, hit two splendid boundaries before holing out to Nahida Akter off Salma Khatun.

The slide continued with Deepti Sharma (11) running herself out following a mix up with Veda Krishnamurthy (20 off 11).

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(With inputs from agencies)

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