Excellent bowling effort and some much needed back to form knock from Harmanpreet Kaur helped India to secure their 4th successive victory in the T20 International series. They ended the series on a high as expected defeating the Lankans in the dead rubber by 51 runs. With one game being washed out due to rain, the Indians triumphed over the Lankans in the T20I series by a huge margin of 4-0.
Being put into bat first, India lost Mandhana in the very first over of the innings continuing her bad run in the series. The Lankan skipper got the better of Mithali dismissing her for only 12 runs. Both Mithali and Mandhana’s form was indifferent in the series. However, Jemimah Rodrigues continued her good form but this time missing her 3rd consecutive half century by just 4 runs. Her innings of 46 runs included 6 fours and a six in 31 balls.
Harmanpreet Kaur played a blistering knock of 63 runs which included 3 fours and 5 sixes at a strike rate of 165.79. She along with Jemimah put on 75 for the 3rd wicket in just 43 balls when Siriwardene got the better of Rodrigues with India cruising at 105/3 in 11.2 overs.
Harmanpreet continued her aggressive batting but kept on losing partners at other end. Priyadharshani(24/3) and Siriwardene(19/3) struck at regular intervals both picking 3 wickets a piece. The Indian team kept on losing wickets and could manage only 28 runs by losing 7 wickets in 4.3 overs managing a total of 156 runs and not even completing their quota of 20 overs.
Requiring 157 to chase, the Lankans hopes were dented when Deepti Sharma struck in the first over of the innings to dismiss Lankan skipper Athathapathu for a duck. Deepti struck again in her second over leaving the Lankans struggling at 13 for 2 in 2.4 overs.
Siriwardene and Sanjeevani tried to stabilise the innings putting on 34 for the third wicket before Radha Yadav bowled Siriwardene for 22 in 18 balls. Sanjeevani tried to hold fort at one end and got support from Oshadi Ranashinge (22 of 20). The duo put on 39 for the 4th before Ranashinge was run out with Sri Lanka needing another 71 runs in 38 balls.
However, the pressure to score quick runs got the better of the Lankans and introduction of Poonam Yadav made it even more difficult. Poonam Yadav picked up 3 wickets to become the leading wicket taker in the series with 8 wickets. The Lankans lost the last 7 wickets for just 19 runs and getting bundled out for a paltry 105 in 17.4 overs. Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav picked up 2 wickets each. The Lankans fell short by 51 runs with India sealing the series 4-0.
India had a great outing in Sri Lanka winning both the ODI and T20 series. Jemimah Rodrigues, Poonam Yadav, Anuja Patil and others were the positives for India. The Indian camp will now feel confident before the ICC T20 World Cup. The Lankans also have some positives to look at, especially Chamari Athapaththu, Siriwardene and Ranashinge. However, they will have to regroup and need to ensure that there are contributions from every department to be competitive at the main event.
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