India, Bangladesh register big wins on opening day of Asia Cup
Shamima Sultana and Jemimah Rodrigues top-scored for their teams. © Getty Images
Last edition’s finalists – Bangladesh and India – made a winning start in the 2022 instalment of the Asia Cup on the opening day in Sylhet on Saturday. India outclassed Sri Lanka, while Bangladesh toppled Thailand.
In the day’s second match, Sri Lanka opted to insert India in after winning the toss. India’s openers – Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma – were intent personified at the top but both of them fell to good catches in the deep.
Mandhana perished for six after being caught Nilakshi de Silva at long off, while Verma’s poor form continued as she fell for 10 after a fine effort by Malsha Shehani on the midwicket boundary.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur then got into a familiar rescue act, putting on a half century partnership for the third wicket, with Rodrigues being the dominant partner.
Rodrigues was quick on her feet, getting back to cut anything short and also stepping out regularly to drive through the off side.
Rodrigues brought up her eighth T20I fifty and went on to score 76, her career-best in this format. She expertly anchored the innings as India went on to notch 150, the third-highest total in Asia Cup’s history. Oshadi Ranasinghe picked some late wickets to finish with three for 32.
Sri Lanka started their chase aggressively with Harshitha Madavi dominating the Powerplay but India kept taking wickets at the other end as the dangerous Chamari Athapaththu was dismissed for five by Deepti Sharma before Sharma ran Malsha Shehani out for nine with a direct hit from backward point.
Madavi was then run out for 26 after a mix up with Hasini Perera and Sri Lanka never recovered from those twin run outs as they were bowled out for 109 to lose by 41 runs.
Dayalan Hemalatha mopped up the tail to return 3/15, while Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar also picked two wickets each.
Brief Scores: India 150/6 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 76, Harmanpreet Kaur 33; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3/32) beat Sri Lanka 109/10 in 18.2 overs (Hasini Perera 30, Harshitha Madavi 26; Dayalan Hemalatha 3/15, Pooja Vastrakar 2/12) by 41 runs POTM: Jemimah Rodrigues
In the opening match of the tournament, Thailand won the toss and opted to bat first in the opening match of the tournament against the defending champions but struggled to get going against Bangladesh’s litany of spinners, who attacked the stumps and gave nothing away.
Bangladesh squeezed Thailand completely as they struggled to get off strike and were bogged down by some disciplined bowling upfront. There were few aggressive strokes and whenever they tried to up the ante, they perished in the process.
Thailand only managed two fours in the first 10 overs, with both being struck by Phannita Maya off Jahanara Alam off successive deliveries.
Maya batted fluently and managed to up the run rate slightly but was dismissed for 26 by Shohely Akhter after top edging an attempted slog.
Natthakan Chantham held an end up and tried to anchor the inning but she too fell for 20 to the impressive Salma Khatun.
Bangladesh only introduced Rumana Ahmed in the 13th over but she was among the wickets in no time, picking three in her first two overs, including two off two in her second over.
All five of Bangladesh’s spinners were among the wickets as Thailand folded for 82 in the final over.
Thailand managed to hit only five fours in their innings on a pitch that had plenty in it for the spinners but there were no such problems for Bangladesh as Shamima Sultana got off to a flier, hitting nine fours in just the Powerplay as Bangladesh brought up their fifty in no time and killed the contest early in the chase.
Sultana was dismissed for 49 off just 30 balls after her flurry of boundaries but Bangladesh wrapped up a nine wicket win in style with skipper Nigar Sultana hitting a six for the winning runs.
Brief Scores: Thailand 82/10 in 19.4 overs (Phannita Maya 26; Rumana Ahmed 3/9, Sanjida Akter 2/11, Nahida Akter 2/11) lost to Bangladesh 88/1 in 11.4 overs (Shamima Sultana 49, Fargana Hoque 26*; Thipatcha Putthawong 1/23) by nine wickets POTM: Shamima Sultana