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Recent Match Report – IND Women vs Bdesh Wmn 22nd Match 2021/22


Ritu Moni and Nahida Akter, who shared five wickets between them, triggered India’s slump from 74 for 0 to 108 for 4

India Women 229 for 7 (Bhatia 50, Verma 42, Moni 3-37, Akter 2-42) vs Bangladesh Women

Had it not been for Yastika Bhatia‘s gritty half-century and Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana‘s seventh-wicket 38-ball 48 stand, India would have fallen well short of the below-par 229 for 7 they crawled to against Bangladesh after opting to bat. The resolute Bangladeshi attack, led by Ritu Moni and Nahida Akter, who shared five wickets between them and triggered India’s slump from 74 for 0 to 108 for 4, made it difficult for them to stage a better counterattack in the league-stage fixture in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Bangladesh opened with spin and pace at Seddon Park and kept India’s openers on a leash at the start. The experienced offspinner Salma Khatun kicked off the proceedings and bowled four overs at one go and so did medium-pacer Jahanara Alam. The pair gave away just nine and 16 each, respectively, until that point, with the left-hander Smriti Mandhana scoring only eight off 20 balls against Khatun.

Mandhana was relatively more fluent against Alam, whom she carted for successive fours in the second over. Shafali Verma had scratched her way to a 12-ball 4 but shifted gears with the first-change Akter’s introduction. The India teen deposited the Bangladesh left-arm spinner in the arc between deep midwicket and long-on for a six and a four in the 12-run over before crunching three imperious fours against Alam to finish the powerplay at 52 for 0.

By the 16th over, though, Bangladesh had broken through the 74-run opening stand, removed both openers and even had India’s No. 3, Mithali Raj sent back for a golden duck – all in the space of five balls. Akter had Mandhana lose control of a pull that found Fargana Hoque at short backward-square leg.

Three balls later, Verma’s inability to adjust her bat speed against Moni’s change of pace had her stumped for a run-a-ball 42. Raj lobbed a full ball to cover soon after drinks as India slumped to 74 for 3.

A herculean rebuild facing them, India scored only 28 for 3 in the second block of 10 overs, with Bhatia being more at ease rotating the strike than No. 4 Harmanpreet Kaur. India reached 100 in 25 overs, but four successive boundary-less overs prompted Harmanpreet to attempt a risky single that ended in her being run out, thanks to a swift pick-up and direct hit from Hoque.

Two relatively inexperienced batters, Bhatia and Richa Ghosh, then wrested a semblance of control with an enterprising 54-run stand. Bhatia resorted to the sweep often to steal singles and boundaries, while Ghosh, who made 26 off 36, relied primarily on the cut.

Ghosh looked at ease with the cut shot even when width was barely on offer, similar to how Australia captain Meg Lanning, the centurion from the other game of Tuesday’s double-header, typically does. The India teen, however, toyed with the lack of width one time as wicketkeeper Nigar Sultana Joty caught a feather of an edge off Akter.

India were 165 for 5 entering the final 10 overs, largely due to Bangladesh’s disciplined fielding and bowling. Tight fields made singles and twos hard to come by, with Akter and Moni refusing to relent with their tight lines.

Bhatia grinded out an 80-ball fifty to take India past 175 in the 43rd over but was caught in Moni’s ingenuity when she took the pace off the ball the next delivery. The result: Akter, who finished with 2 for 42 after conceding 17 off her first two overs, took an easy catch at short-fine leg and Moni had her maiden ODI three-for.

Vastrakar and Rana made 30 not out and 27, respectively, to give India something to fight for.

Since 2021, India have won only twice and lost 12 ODIs batting first, 10 of those losses coming on the trot heading into this World Cup. If Bangladesh’s success with taking the pace off on the dry, used Seddon Park strip is anything to go by, India will expect their spin attack to do the heavy lifting if they are to keep their fate of qualifying for the semi-finals in their own hands. Wristspinner Poonam Yadav, whom they slotted in the XI for the first time in the tournament at the expense of pacer Meghna Singh, could have a vital role to play as would their fielding unit.

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha

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