India’s difficulty in handling spin bowling persisted, as Bangladesh kept their composure to secure a four-wicket redemption victory in the third and concluding women’s T20 International held in Mirpur on Thursday. Opting to bat first, India put on yet another subpar display, settling for a total of 102 for nine. Although Bangladesh, who had previously failed to chase a target of 96, seemed to be heading down the same path of self-destruction, they managed to cross the finish line in the 18.1 overs. Shamima Sultana, the opening batswoman for Bangladesh, played a pivotal role in maintaining their innings with her 42 off 46.
Although India sealed the series 2-1, the level of their performance left much room for improvement. The teams will face off in a three-match ODI series starting on July 16.
India’s biggest setback was the inability of their batswomen to adjust to the spin-friendly pitch, failing to exert pressure on the opposing slow bowlers. Apart from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, no other player managed to clear the boundary in the three games.
On a positive note, the promising performance of the young off-spinner Minnu Mani was a standout for India.
With the upcoming T20 World Cup in Bangladesh next year, the new head coach, once appointed, will have his work cut out for him to uplift the team’s performance.
Harmanpreet had earlier scored a commendable 40 off 41 balls, but a subsequent batting meltdown in the death overs resulted in India losing their last six wickets for just 11 runs.
The star bowler for Bangladesh was leg-spinner Rabeya Khan, who took three wickets for 16 runs in four overs. Off-spinner Sultana Khatun also had an impressive powerplay performance, removing India’s leading openers, Shafali Verma (11) and Smriti Mandhana (1).
Considering the “tricky” pitch conditions, which had been a constant throughout the low-scoring series, Harmanpreet had opted to bat first.
Verma and Mandhana, once again, were unable to provide a solid start, leaving India at a precarious 27 for two in six overs.
Mandhana got herself in a compromised position attempting a leg-side shot, which ended in a leading edge, promptly caught by Bangladesh’s skipper and wicketkeeper Nigar Sultana.
Verma was caught at long on, failing to clear the boundary.
Jemimah Rodrigues (28 off 26) and Harmanpreet managed a 45-run partnership to propel the innings before Rodrigues was stumped off leg-spinner Shorna Akter. Unlike the last game, Rodrigues demonstrated a more positive approach, effectively utilizing her footwork against the spinners.
The squad’s deficiency in power hitters was exposed once again, with Harmanpreet being the sole batswoman clearing the boundary. Once Harmanpreet was stumped in the 17th over, the team experienced a rapid fall of wickets as the Indian batswomen struggled to hit the necessary boundaries.