Shafali Verma once again showed her match-winning prowess with an attractive 55 off 44 balls as India out-batted Bangladesh by 59 runs to win their fourth match and clinch a semi-final berth in the T20 Asia Cup on Saturday.
Following an indifferent batting display in the defeat against Pakistan, the ‘Women In Blue’ put up a much improved performance scoring 159 for 5, largely due to a 96-run opening stand between Shafali and stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana (47 off 38 balls).
Credit should also go to Jemimah Rodrigues, whose 35 not out off just 24 balls helped the Indian team score nearly 160. Bangladesh managed 100 for 7 at the end of 20 overs and never looked like being in the hunt for a victory.
Player of the Match Shafali Verma during her 55-run knock. Twitter
With eight points from five games, India are on top of the seven-team table with a match left in the round-robin stage.
Mandhana lauded her team’s effort after the match. “Shafali batted well, and also Jemimah played well. We could have scored 10 runs more while batting. We had to keep bowling dot balls, and we had to wait for their batters to make mistakes, which they did. Our bowlers bowled really well,” she added.
Player of the Match Shafali, who also had a career-best bowling figures of 2/10, admitted that the pitch was not conducive for stroke-play. “I am always ready to give my best for the team (with the bat and ball). It was a bit difficult pitch for batting as the ball kept low. I have put in a lot of hard work and want to thank my family and friends for their support. We are very happy with our performance, everyone played really well.”
Having never chased a total beyond 142 in their T20I history, Bangladesh did try their bit but could never force the momentum against a solid Indian bowling attack which kept things tight.
None of the Indian bowlers were off target for the better part with Sneh Rana (1/17) and Deepti Sharma (2/13) putting up a commendable performance.