India beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs in the first of 3 T20Is at Dambulla. The Indian captain, Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bat first against their neighbors. The Indians managed to put 138 runs on board after 20 overs for a loss of 6 wickets.
The Sri Lankans stroked early as Smriti Mandhana and Meghana were dismissed for 1 run and a golden duck respectively. Shafali Verma was playing well to build an innings alongside the skipper Kaur. India was lagging especially in the middle overs as they could not build up on momentum because of losing regular wickets. Kaur was dropped twice but could not make the most of the opportunity and got out for 22 runs off 20 deliveries. Verma was looking good but could not clear the fence and the in-form Sri Lanka skipper, Chamari Athapaththu sent her back to the pavilion. It was a good bowling effort from the Lankans but sloppy fielding took the game away.
Both Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma played very crucial knocks by turning the tables for their team. Especially in the last over by scoring 20 runs and taking the target to 139 which was looking difficult a few overs back.
Athapaththu and Gunaratne opened the innings for the Lankans but Deepti Sharma was sharp to send back Gunaratne back to the pavilion only in the second over of the innings. That did not allow Sri Lanka to build the much-needed opening stand when chasing a good total. The captain was also sent back soon thereafter for just 16 runs off 19 deliveries by Radha Yadav and caught by Gayakwad. As the required run rate kept moving on the higher side, the Lankans could not catch up. Kavisha Dilhari did play a very good inning by scoring an unbeaten 47 runs but lack of partnerships, good fielding efforts from India and regular wickets did not allow Sri Lanka to sail through.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) June 23, 2022
Highlights of the match:
Deepti Sharma took a stunning catch, running forward to dismiss Madavi which kept the Lankans from taking too many risks which ultimately led to climbing required run-rate.
Ranaweera took 3 wickets for 30 runs in her 4-over spell which made sure India could not capitalize in the middle overs.
Jemimah Rodrigues played a very important knock by scoring quick yet well-hit 36 runs to make sure her team posts a defendable target.
Dilhari also played a very good knock and kept the hope for the Sri Lankan team alive till the very end.
The 2nd T20I is to be played on 25th June, 2022 at Dambulla.
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