India keep semi-final hopes alive with convincing win over Bangladesh

Shajin Mohanan S
22 Mar 2022
India keep semi-final hopes alive with convincing win over Bangladesh

India celebrate a wicket © Getty Images

India registered their third win of the tournament in the World Cup 2022 with a convincing win over Bangladesh at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Tuesday (March 22). They skittled Bangladesh out for 119 runs on a slow deck after an up and down batting performance led by a patient fifty from Yastika Bhatia. Sneh Rana was the wrecker-in-chief during the bowling effort with a four-wicket haul. India now have six points from six matches and are currently at number three in the points table.

Smriti – Shafali show

After India opted to bat, Smriti Mandhana drove and pulled Jahanara Alam in the second over to start off the India innings. However, Bangladesh pulled back things nicely with four frugal overs. Finally Mandhana broke the stalemate dancing down the track to loft Salma Khatun over cover for her third boundary.

Verma was itching to take on the bowlers, but Bangladesh kept her on a tight leash even as they robbed her off strike. Eventually, the 18-year-old took on Nahida Akter and slog-swept her for a six and a four to get herself going. In the next over, it was the turn of Alam to bear the brunt of Verma as the opener hit her for three boundaries. India ended the power play with 52 runs on the board.

Familiar woes

Just when it looked like the dangerous duo would take India over the three-figure mark in quick time, Nahida struck with the big wicket of Mandhana. The southpaw went for a pull against a dragged down delivery and was caught at backward square-leg for 30.

In the 16th over, Verma’s momentum took her out of the crease and was smartly stumped by Nigar Sultana off Ritu Moni and in the next delivery India lost the big wicket of Mithali Raj – second golden duck in her ODI career – to leave India reeling at 74 for 3.

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Rinse and repeat

With India needing to resurrect the innings on a slower surface, Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur took their time, while Bangladesh bowlers kept bowling wicket to wicket with Nigar standing up to the stumps for seamers as well. Only 34 runs came from the next 11 overs with Bhatia and Kaur managing to hit only one boundary each.

The strangle caused Kaur to look for a single that wasn’t there and was run out at the non-strikers end with Fargana Hoque getting the throw spot on.

Yastika – the anchor and Ghosh – the cutter

Cut shot is Richa Ghosh’s lifeline. The right hander cut balls from outside the stump, even from the leg-stump. She started with two boundaries off Lata Mondal. At the other end, Bhatia stayed firm – playing the anchor role to perfection – and hit Fahima Khatun through mid-wicket for a four. Meanwhile, Ghosh pulled out a cut shot against Fahima as well.

However, the cut shot eventually became the nemesis of Ghosh as she missed a couple of attempts before edging Nahida to the wicket-keeper for 26. Bhatia kept going and brought up her second fifty from as many matches to set up the innings for the lower order.

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Vastrakar – Rana mini-redux

It wasn’t easy an easy surface to finish big; Pooja Vastrakar and Rana realised this fact and they ran hard, while also hitting occasional boundaries. Both scored only two fours each, but kept the scorecard ticking. India added 45 runs from the last five overs with Vastrakar making an unbeaten 30 off 33 balls; Rana fell for a well-made 27 from 23 balls.

India finished on 229 for 7 from the stipulated 50 overs. Moni was the best bowler on display and her bowling figures read 10-2-37-3. Nahida picked up two wickets for 42 runs.

Blockathon for Bangladesh

India opened the bowling with Jhulan Goswami and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Except for an out of the blue six from Murshida Khatun over extra-cover, Bangladesh struggled to get the scorecard moving. Only 12 runs came from the first five overs, and that eventually told on Sharmin Akhter as she edged Gayakwad to Rana at first-slip.

Vastrakar trapped Hoque in front in the ninth over and India had the second wicket once the decision was upheld to reduce Bangladesh to 15 for 2.

Going nowhere

With Bangladesh scoring only 19 for 2 from the power play – the lowest in the tournament so far, all the Indian bowlers were frugal as the batters were insistent on blocking them out.

Skipper Nigar played 11 balls for three and wanted to break free, but could only reach as far as Kaur at mid-on. Soon it went from bad to worse; Bangladesh lost two more wickets and found them reeling at 35 for 5 in 17.2 overs.

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Salma having fun

From 35 for 5 and with Indians on the attack, Bangladesh needed someone to break the pattern. And Salma Khatun did exactly that. She reverse swept Poonam Yadav to find her first boundary and then hit the leg-spinner through mid-on for another. Salma added two more fours in the next few overs, but eventually her free flowing innings came to an end with Ghosh taking a catch off Goswami for 32 off 35.

Rana hastening the finish

publive-image Sneh Rana finished with figures of 4 for 30 © Getty Images

Although Mondal and Moni hit a boundary each, the former was caught by Kaur and Rana then trapped Fahima for a solitary run before taking a return catch to dismiss Nahida despite almost colliding with Vastrakar. Gayakwad finished with enviable figures of 1 for 15 from her ten overs. Rana, at the other end, finished with her career-best figures of 4 for 30.

India will face South Africa in their final fixture that's scheduled to be played in Christchurch on March 27.

Brief Scores: India 229/7 in 50 overs (Yastika Bhatia 50, Shafali Verma 42; Ritu Moni 3/37, Nahida Akter 2/42) beat Bangladesh 119/10 in 40.3 overs (Salma Khatun 32; Sneh Rana 4/30, Pooja Vastrakar 2/26) by 110 runs POTM: Yastika Bhatia

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