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India Women beat Sri Lanka Women by 34 runs in 1st T20I; Jemimah Rodriguez shines on return

India Women beat Sri Lanka Women by 38 runs in 1st T20I; Jemimah Rodriguez shines on return

Dambulla, June 23: The Indian women's cricket team started the tour of Sri Lanka on a confident note as they won the first T20I by 34 runs here on Thursday (June 23) and went 1-nil up in the three-match series. Jemimah Rodriguez marked her return to the national side with her 27-ball 36 and bagged the player of the match award.

Having posted 138 for six after electing to bat first, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side restricted the hosts to 104 for five in the stipulated 20 overs.

Opener Vishmi Gunaratne (1) was trapped in front by Deepti Sharma in the second over of the match before Radha Yadav struck twice in three balls to remove Chamari Athapaththu (16) and Harshitha Madavi (10) and pushed the hosts on the backfoot.

Middle-order batter Kavisha Dilhari tried her best as she scored an unbeaten 47 but she too scored under a strike rate of 100 and could never help her team when the asking rate was above 9 runs per over in the last 10 overs.

Nilakshi de Silva (8) was dismissed by Pooja Vastrakar while Ama Kanchana became Shafali Verma's victim for 11.

Earlier in the day, Rodriguez lifted the Indian eves against a disciplined Sri Lankan bowling after India's new all-format skipper Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bat. The Sri Lankans had a dream start when India lost opener Smriti Mandhana (1) in the third over of the game.

Mandhana became a victim of veteran spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe while looking to free her arms. She hit a tossed-up delivery straight to Chamari Aththapatu at mid-on. Sabbhineni Meghana was out for a golden duck, sent back to the dressing room by old warhorse Ranasinghe.

Losing two wickets early and visibly under pressure in the hot and humid Dambulla, it was the duo of Harmanpreet and Shefali Verma, who took control of the precarious situation.

A well-settled Verma was the next to go, dismissed by Aththapatu on 31 while trying to go for a maximum. Smart bowling by the Lankans ensured that they soon got their biggest breakthrough when skipper Harmanpreet (22) was trapped in front of the wicket by spinner Inoka Ranaweera in the 11th over.

Ranaweera picked two more wickets to send back wicketkeeper batter Richa Ghosh (11) and Pooja Vastrakar (14) to reduce the visitors to just 106 for six in 17 overs and leave Jemimah with the task of giving the Indian total a semblance of respectability.

Coming in at five, Rodriguez, who made her comeback to the side after a while, did not succumb to the pressure and scored some vital runs, hitting three fours and a six, with Deepti Sharma playing the second fiddle as she scored 17 off 8 balls.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 18:10 [IST]
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