Two wicket haul of Radha Yadav was backed by Jemimah Rodrigues’s unbeaten 36 powered visitors to a 34-run win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I here at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla on Thursday. It was a poor day for Sri Lanka’s batting unit as they could not do a lot with the bat on a difficult surface and despite their bowlers dominated the proceedings in the first T20I restricting India to 138/6 in their 20 overs. With this win, India take the series lead with a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series. Vistors were great and did not allow partnerships to prosper for long. For Sri Lanka, Kavisha Dilhari smashed unbeaten 46 runs and was the top scorer for the team. For India, Radha Yadav bagged crucial two wickets while Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma scalped one wicket each.
Chasing 139, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start as they lost their opener Vishmi Gunaratne with one run onboard. This big breakthrough for the Indian team was delivered by Deepti SharmA: Harshitha Madavi then came to bat on the crease and tried to anchor the innings with skipper Chamari Athapaththu.
The Sri Lanka skipper batted aggressively and in the fifth over she smashed back-to-back two fours against Radha Yadav’s delivery. In the seventh, over of the innings, Athapaththu fell prey to Radha Yadav’s brilliant delivery as she tried to go for a four but was caught by Rajeshwari Gayakwad after scoring 16 runs in 19 balls.
Kavisha Dilhari then came to bat. In the same seventh over Yadav strike again and dismissed Madavi, who scored just 10 runs in 17 deliveries. Right-handed batter Nilakshi de Silva then came to bat and joined hands with Dilhari to keep the team’s momentum going. Dilhari and de Silva played cautiously to make sure they don’t lose any more wickets. After the 10 overs, the Sri Lanka team’s score reads 41/3. After the 11 overs hosts needed 93 runs in 54 balls. In the 13th over of the innings, Pooja Vastrakar gave her team a big breakthrough as she dismissed de Silva with Sri Lanks’s score of 54/4 on board.
After the wickets of de Silva, Ama Kanchana then came to the crease. The 14th over of the innings saw Shafali Verma deliver a brilliant spell only conceding 3 runs. At this point of the match, Sri Lanka batters struggled to even take a single run as Indian bowlers were too cheap in the matter conceding runs.
Ama Kanchana later fell prey to Verma’s delivery after scoring 11 runs in 10 balls. Anushka Sanjeewani then came to bat but at that point, it was impossible for the hosts to pull off the remaining 51 runs in 10 balls.
In the last over hosts tried to fight back and smashed two fours, but it was no use. Renuka Singh did not allow Lanka batters to gather many runs in the 20th and restricted them to 104/5 after 20 overs of play. Earlier, Put to bat first, India got off to a poor start, losing opener Smriti Mandhana (1) and Sabbhineni Meghana (0) in two consecutive balls of pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe’s fourth over. SL captain Chamari Athapaththu took two great catches in both the dismissals.
Following both the dismissals, it was in hands of opener Shafali Verma and captain Harmanpreet Kaur to rebuild things for IndiA: At the end of six overs, India stood at 32/2 with Harmanpreet Kaur (10*) and Shafali Verma (18*)
Shafali looked in great touch, smashing four boundaries. She was dismissed by the captain Athapaththu for 31 off 31 balls, after being caught by Nilakshi de Silva at long-on.
At the end of 10 overs, India was at 58/3, with Harmanpreet Kaur (22*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (1*). Soon, captain Kaur was dismissed leg before wicket for 22 by spinner Inoka Ranaweera, sinking India to 58/4. Afterwards, Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh, the wicketkeeper-batter had to rebuild. But the 23-run stand came to an abrupt end after Ranaweera dismissed him with assistance from the safe hands of Anushka Sanjeewani for 11. With this, half of the Indian team was back in the hut for 81.
At the end of 15 overs, the Indian team stood at 85/5, with Pooja Vastrakar (3*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (12*). The duo had a short 25-run partnership, which ended with the dismissal of Vastrakar for 14 after she was bowled by RanaweerA: Jemimah Rodrigues was standing tall all this while, keeping one end steady. India ended their innings at 138/6, with Rodrigues (36*) and Deepti Sharma (17*) Inoka Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka, taking 3/30. Oshadi Ranasinghe also took two wickets while Athapaththu got one.
BRIEF SCORES: India 138/6 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 36*, Shafali Verma 31, Inoka Ranaweera 3/30) vs Sri Lanka (Kavisha Dilhari 46*, Chamari Athapaththu 16; Radha Yadav 2-22).