Twitter Reactions: Bowlers shine as India take 1-0 lead with convincing win

Twitter Reactions: Bowlers shine as India take 1-0 lead with convincing win

India won by four wickets and 12 overs to spare.

India Women against Sri Lanka Women
India Women against Sri Lanka Women (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Sri Lankan team hosted the Indian team for the first of the three-match ODI series at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. Both teams were in good form as India had won the T20I series against the hosts by 2-1, whereas the hosts were backed by a victory from their last T20I of the series, which they won very comfortably. But India took the upper hand yet again, winning by four wickets and 12 overs to spare.

Even after losing the toss, India performed admirably with the white ball, outplaying the hosts. The Indian women transformed a batter’s field into a bowler’s utopia by deploying eight bowlers in the game, with captain Harmanpreet Kaur doing an excellent job of combining quick bowling and spin regularly.

The pacers had to depend more on variations because of the extremely slow wicket, as the spin attack fared much better. India capitalized on the advantage and dished out Sri Lanka cheaply in the first innings. They got an early breakthrough when Renuka Singh picked Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (2 off 8), while Deepti Sharma sent Hansima Karunaratne back soon for a duck.

A composed partnership between Hasini Perera (37 off 54) and Harshitha Madavi (28 off 54) came to an end when the former fell LBW to Deepti Sharma. Deadly middle-order batter Kavisha Dilhari was dismissed for a duck by the Indian skipper as the visitors took a sigh of relief. After Perera, Nilakshi de Silva (43 off 63) tried to build the innings but the bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals as Sri Lanka were cleaned up for 171 runs in the 49th over.

Indian batters struggle, but finish off the chase before time

The chase was not as easy as it looked for India. Sri Lanka’s Oshadi Ranasinghe gave a terrific start to the hosts as she picked top-order batters Smriti Mandhana (4 off 7) and Yastika Bhatia (1 off 8) in the first two overs that she bowled. Shafali Verma (35 off 40) put up a decent show with the bat as she added 44 runs for the third-wicket partnership alongside skipper Kaur before getting out.

The middle-order batters took the responsibility to anchor the innings and chase down the par total. Kaur (44 off 63) and Harleen Deol (34 off 40) added 62 runs for the fourth-wicket stand and kept the game going, thereby cutting the chase short. The partnership was broken by Inoka Ranaweera, who dismissed them both to provide the required breakthroughs.

India faced a few hiccups during the chase after Kaur and Deol were dismissed and the batters could not capitalize on the momentum that the duo had set. Deepti Sharma (22* off 41) and Vastrakar (21* off 19) took the game forward very slowly before the latter finished off the chase in the 38th over with a brilliant six as India took a 1-0 lead in the ODI series.

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