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|Nilakshi de Silva||31||20||2||1||155.00|
The T20I series between India and Sri Lanka women continue to follow the trend set by the ODI series between the two countries. It was a closely fought ODI series and T20I series started on a similar note. The first match of the series was won by India as they successfully managed to defend 166 by a small margin. Relentless rain washed out the second game with Sri Lanka at 49 for 3 after 7.5 overs. The third T20I is staged to be played at Colombo Cricket Club Ground on September 22nd and considering the series has gone so far, it certainly promises to be a yet another thrilling encounter.
Although inconsequential, Sri Lanka bounced back in a see-saw encounter in the third ODI and they've played pretty well since then. Sri Lanka bowlers got them off to a terrific start as they removed Smriti Mandhana for a first ball duck in the opening over of the match. However, their bowlers could not contain Rodriques who came in at number three.
Although Chamari Athapththu picked her up, she did the damage. Their bowlers continued to pick wickets thereafter and eventually managed to restrict Indians for a par score of 166.
In response, Sri Lankans got off to a flying start, thanks to Yasoda Mendis and Athapaththu. Mendis played a blasting knock of 32 taking just 12 deliveries. That, however, was one of the very few bright points for Sri Lankan batting as they were reduced to 117 with 7 chips down. The lower order players fought hard for them but fell short of the target by 11 runs.
Yasoda Mendis, Chamari Atapattu, Dilani Manodara, Kavisha Dilhari, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Ama Kanchana, Shashikala Siriwardene, Nilakshi de Silva, Sripali Weerakkody, Udeshika Prabodhani, Sugandika Kumari.
Right from the beginning of the tour, Indians have done pretty well, which was expected from them considering the favorites tag they were carrying. They reduced Sri Lankan women to 49 for 3 before rain intervened in the second T20I. Earlier in the first T20I, Indian women escaped a scare as Tania Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues played excellent knocks to take India to a competitive total.
The competitive total of 166 was achieved by exciting cameos from Bhatia, Rodrigues, Patil and Veda Krishnamurthy as no one could convert her start into a big one. Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj, along with Smriti Mandhana, were dismissed within the six overs. Tania and Bhatia stitched together a 67-run partnership to take them to a competitive score.
India needed to restrict Sri Lanka from getting off to a flying start considering the total required to win for the Islanders was just about par. However, they could not do so as the Lankan openers got off to a brisk start. Kaur, Yadav, and Roy then brought India back into the match with quick wickets as Sri Lanka were left to do too much with too little resources remaining as they fell short of the target.
Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Arundhati Reddy, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav.
Although India a leading the series 1-0 and won the ODIs 2-1, it's been a rather competitive series. Sri Lanka have just about matched India with the performances in almost all games. It's expected to be yet another interesting game of Cricket and with experienced batting lineup and in-form bowling attack, Indian women are favorites to win the third match and go 2-0 up in the series.
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