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|Nilakshi de Silva||15||14||1||0||107.14|
|Nilakshi de Silva||1.0||0||8||0||8.00|
With a win in the third T20I, India women's cricket team has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka. Although the Sri Lankan women have looked good in specific, they've lacked consistency. With just two games remaining in the series, it is now imperative for the hosts to register a win in the upcoming game for them to stay in the series. Indians, on the other hand, will like to wrap up the series with a win here. The two teams lock horns on 24th September at Colombo Cricket Club Ground in an all-important encounter.
Sri Lanka got off to a steady start courtesy their skipper who scored 28 off 32 deliveries. The innings was then taken forward by Shashikala Siriwardene and Nilakshi de Silva with the important knocks of 31 and 20 respectively. Although Sri Lanka always looked in the game with the bat, they were never able to impart the impetus to their innings. Consequently, they could score just 131 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
In order to defend such a below-par score, Sri Lanka needed to make early inroads into the Indian batting lineup. Prabodani provided them with just the wicket they wanted - of Smriti Mandhana in just the third over. After a brief Indian partnership, Sri Lanka clawed back in the game with two wickets to leave India 77 for 3 after 12 overs.
Although the Lankans pressed hard in the final overs, the deficit remaining proved to be too little for them to defend in the final overs. Things may have been different had Sri Lanka keeper Dilani Manodara held onto the chance provided by Rodrigues when she danced down the track to Sugandika Kumari, but the keeper failed to collect the ball cleanly and Rodriques went on to play a match-defining innings.
Yasoda Mendis, Chamari Atapattu, Hasini Perera, Shashikala Siriwardene, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Nilakshi de Silva, Ama Kanchana, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Rebeca Vandort, Sharina Ravikumar, Udeshika Prabodhani.
After the bowlers did extremely well to restrict the hosts to a modest total, it was all about the young Jemimah Rodquigues who scored breezy 57 runs to hand India an unassailable lead in the series. Apart from tight bowling with the new ball, Arundhati Reddy did exceedingly well in the outfield. She ran two Sri Lankan batsmen out and made an impressive save at the boundary which proved to be instrumental in limiting the Lankans to a modest total. She finished with the figures of 19 for 2 in her four overs.
India lost Smriti Mandhana early in the third over of the innings and after a brief partnership with Rodrigues, Mithali Raj, too, was dismissed. Rodrigues then combined with Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur, as the duo scored 53 runs for the fourth wicket. The pair ran hard between the wickets and collected occasional boundaries to deny the hosts from getting the upper hand. The partnership not only rescued India from a desperate looking situation but also put them in the driver's seat before the skipper was dismissed.
With 19 runs still required to win, Rodrigues was caught at the deep square square leg in a quest to win quickly. Thanks to her aggressive approach towards the end of the innings, India had ample time to get those 25 runs. Veda Krishnamurthy and Anuja Patil just knocked the ball around as India scaled the target with five wickets and ten balls to spare.
Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Taniya Bhatia, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav.
While the One Day International series was fought hard between the two sides, T20s have rather been a one-sided affair thus far. Sri Lanka have the capability to bounce back into the series, but considering the way Indians have played, the hosts would have to play out of their skins to get the result in their favor. With both batting, as well as bowling units, doing well for India, they look all set to win the fourth T20I and therefore the series.