Asia Cup T20, Match no 13 – India vs Nepal.
Nepal won the toss and expecting that batting might be a bit difficult, as it had rained a bit, elected to bowl first. The toss itself was delayed by about 20 minutes.
With the berth for the final already confirmed, and the fact that Nepal being a weaker side, India decided to rest their key players. Mithali Raj, wicketkeeper Sushma Verma, and Jhulan Goswami were all rested.
Yet another opening pair was tried for this match, that of Sabbhineni Meghana and Vellaswamy Vanitha. Nepal Captain Bowled Meghana in the 3rd over, but Vanitha was firing all cylinders and scored 21 off just 14 balls (3×4) before she became Rubina’s 2nd victim and was caught by Nary Thapa on the 1st ball of the 5th over, but by then India were already on 29.
Looking at Vanitha’s aggression, Anuja Patil was sent in as a pinch-hitter, which she often is, in this shortest format. But after Vanitha’s wicket, Anuja’s role changed and along with wicketkeeper-batter Nuzhat Parween, who was brought in the place of Sushma Varma, was building the inning and put up a 32 run partnership. Until the 11th over when Anuja 16 off 18 (1×4) got stumped off Sita Magar, and in the very next over Parween 13 off 25 (1×4) got runout, and was very soon followed by Mansi Joshi 5 off 8 balls.
The 3 wickets did slow down the scoring, from 60 for 2 in 10.2 overs to 69 for 5 in 13.2 overs. But with experienced batters like Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy yet to bat. All-rounder Shikha Pandey and Captain Harmanpreet Kaur were at the crease.
While Harmanpreet was rotating strike, Shikha went after the Nepal bowlers and sent them all around the park. As they together put up a 51 run partnership for the 6th wicket off just 6.4 overs.
You may like : Indian women defeated Pakistan women in Asia Cup 2016
India finished the innings on 120 for 5, with Harmanpreet not out on 14 off 16 (with no 4 or 6) and Shikha not out on 39 off 32 (5×4)
In return, Nepal Batters were like Rabbit caught in the headlight. They just couldn’t score against the experienced Indian bowlers. Nepal Women kept losing wickets on regular intervals and winded up on the lowest total of the tournament of 21 all out in the 17th over. With extras being the highest contributor to the total followed by Sangita Magar’s 6 off 21.
Nepal should still feel inspired given the fact that they stretched India till the 17th over.
Poonam Yadav picked 3 wickets along with Anuja and Meghana each picking 2 wickets.
Shikha Pandey was adjudged Player of the Match for her 39 runs and 1 wicket.
India Women have been unbeaten in the tournament so far and have done all the possible experiments in this match, ahead of their Finals on Sunday, 4th Dec.