India’s top-order batter Yastika Bhatia scored a patient fifty, while Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar came up with late-innings flurry as the Mithali Raj-led side posted a respectable 229/7 against Bangladesh in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup league game at Seddon Park on Tuesday.
Thanks to Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar’s cameos, India added 64 runs in the last 10 overs, setting Bangladesh a target of 230. Yastika Bhatia was the star performer scoring her 50 off 80 balls. As wickets kept falling, she stitched two vital partnerships with Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh to keep the scoreboard ticking in the middle overs.
On a slow Seddon Park track, the Bangladesh bowlers bowled brilliantly and kept picking wickets at crucial junctures to put the skids on India’s scoring.
Opting to bat first, Shafali Verma (42) and Smriti Mandhana (30) got India off to a good start, with the duo putting on 74 for the opening wicket until disaster struck on the final ball of the 15th over. Mandhana tamely hit Nahida Akter straight to Fargana Hoque and then Ritu Moni got in on the act during the next over to turn the game on its head quickly.
Shafali Verma tried to hit one out of the ground and was stumped, before skipper Mithali Raj hit her first ball straight to Fahima Khatun at cover as India were quickly reduced to 74/3.
Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur repaired the innings but it came at the cost of a run rate slump — their 34-run partnership came in 70 balls before Hoque’s direct hit caught Harmanpreet short of her crease.
India once again had to rebuild their innings with Richa Ghosh joining Bhatia at the crease. The wicketkeeper-batter took the attack to the bowlers early on, smashing Lata Mondal for consecutive boundaries in the 30th over. The duo kept finding the boundaries regularly but just when they looked set, Ghosh was caught behind trying to cut a ball that was too close to the body.
Bhatia got to her second fifty of the tournament but fell off the very next ball attempting the paddle sweep. At 180/6 at the end of 44th over, India needed to finish well and Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar did just that. Their partnership of 48 in 38 balls propelled India to 229/7.
India, who will be keen to cement their spot inside the top-four with a victory, made one change to their playing XI with Poonam Yadav replacing Meghna Singh.
Bangladesh made two changes to their side, with Murshida Khatun and Lata Mondal included for Shamima Sultana and Fariha Trisna.
Broef scores: India 229/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 30, Shafali Verma 42, Yastika Bhatia 50, Richa Ghosh 26, Pooja Vastrakar 30 not out, Sneh Rana 27; Ritu Moni 3/37) vs Bangladesh.