India and Pakistan dominate on day three in Asia Cup 2022
S Meghana and Diana Baig gave fine starts to their respective teams. © Getty Images
India and Pakistan maintained their perfect record in the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup on a day that was ended early by rain in Sylhet on Monday. They defeated defending champions Bangladesh and Malaysia respectively.
Malaysia captain Winifred Duraisingam won the toss and opted to insert India in first in the second match of the day. India rotated their playing XI and brought in S Meghana, Kiran Navgire, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Meghna Singh, opting to rest Smriti Mandhana, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana and Renuka Singh Thakur.
With Mandhana absent, Meghana opened with Shafali Verma and the two of them were aggression personified from the outset, with Meghana unleashing plenty of lofted drives over the arc from extra cover to mid off.
Verma used her feet frequently and targeted the leg side boundary. Meghana received a reprieve early in her innings when she hit one to mid off but she made amends by notching her first fifty in the format.
She extended her knock to 69 off 53 before falling to Duraisingam after hitting 11 fours and a six. Richa Ghosh was promoted to no. three and she smote a couple of effortless sixes over midwicket before unleashing a reverse sweep and a sweep to show her full repertoire.
Shafali struggled to motor on after the first 10 overs, being dismissed for 46 in the 18th over by Nur Dania Syuhada, who went on to dismiss Kiran Navgire for a first ball duck.
Dayalan Hemalatha then finished the innings with a flourish, hitting a four over extra cover and then a six over midwicket to finish with 181 for four, the highest score in the tournament’s history.
Malaysia batted only 27 balls in their chase, losing two wickets and scoring 16 runs to lose the match by 30 runs via DLS method.
Brief Scores: India 181/4 in 20 overs (S Meghana 69, Shafali Verma 46, Richa Ghosh 33; Nur Dania Syuhada 2/9) beat Malaysia 16/2 in 5.2 overs (Mas Elysa 14*; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 1/6) by 30 runs (DLS method) POTM: S Meghana
In the first match of the day, Pakistan opted to bowl first to take advantage of the early start and Diana Baig provided them with the perfect start by dismissing Bangladesh’s top scorer from their previous match – Shamima Sultana – in the very first over for one after she dragged one back onto her stumps.
Her opening partner, Fargana Hoque, also walked back for one after missing a sweep off Sadia Iqbal to get bowled in the very next over.
Baig then struck another blow, trapping Rumana Ahmed in front of the stumps for one in a frugal opening spell. The sweep shot brought about Bangladesh’s downfall again as Lata Mondal fell for 12 to Nida Dar after putting up some resistance alongside Nigar Sultana.
Skipper Sultana stayed in the longest but scoring was a struggle for her too before she succumbed LBW on 17 to Dar.
Sobhana Mostary then fell for two as she tried to clear the leg side boundary against Omaima Sohail’s loopy off spin.
The conditions were tricky for batters with the ball turning square on numerous occasions. The only time the batters got some respite was when rain halted play midway through the eighteenth over.
Bangladesh only managed 70 for eight off their 20 overs, largely thanks to Salma Khatun’s unbeaten 24 from 29 deliveries.
There were no such problems for Pakistan in the chase as Sidra Ameen and Muneeba Ali found batting a lot more easier.
Ameen used the sweep to great effect, hitting boundaries off Khatun and Nahida Akter, while Muneeba drove Sanjida Akter down the ground for a four when she erred on the fuller side.
Both of them also ran hard between the wickets as Bangladesh made a few lapses in the field. Khatun provided the hosts with the first breakthrough when she got Ali caught behind for 14 with one that turned and bounced.
That was the only blemish in Pakistan’s chase as Ameen, who scored 36*, helped seal a big win in the company of captain Bismah Maroof, who finished unbeaten on 12.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 70/8 in 20 overs (Salma Khatun 24; Diana Baig 2/11, Nida Dar 2/19) lost to Pakistan 72/1 in 12.2 overs (Sidra Ameen 36*; Salma Khatun 1/27) by nine wickets POTM: Sidra Ameen