A stupendous all-round performance of Shafali Verma led India to a massive 59-run win over hosts Bangladesh in the Women’s Asia Cup today at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
The victory after a defeat to archrivals Pakistan in the previous game put India at the top of the table solely again. The win also helped India to take a revenge of their loss to Bangladesh in the last Asia Cup final.
Shafali scored a 44 ball-55 and claimed 2-10 in her four overs to play a vital role in the big victory.
Her 59 was important in helping India post a respectable 159-5 and Bangladesh really never challenged to come even close as the hosts were restricted to 100-7.
Shafali and Smriti Mandhana who led the side in absence of Harmanpreet Kaur shared a 96-run for the opening stand in 12 overs to lay a platform of gigantic total.
Mandhana hammered 47 off 38 with the help of six boundaries. After her dismissal, Shafali too followed her but before that she completed her fourth half-century that included five fours and two sixes.
Jemimah Rodregues then drove the side past 150-run mark with 35 not out from 24 balls.
Rumana Ahmed was the most successful bowler for Bangladesh with 3-27 while Salma Khatun took one wicket.
Bangladesh however could never pace the scoreboard in the chase of a big target even though opener Fargana Hoque Pinky and Murshida Khatun gave the side a solid start.
Pinky scored 30 runs but played 40 balls while Murshida’s 21 came off 25 balls. The openers’ waste of vast number of deliveries made the ultimate difference.
Captain Nigar Sultana Joty nevertheless showed some intent but the asking run rate climbed to such an uncanny degree that she was not able to match it. Joty made 36 off 29 with five fours. No other batters could reach double digit mark afterwards.
Deepti Sharma also took 2-13 to complement Shafali while Renuka Singh and Sneh Rana picked up one wicket apiece.