Harmanpreet Kaur's Unbeaten 54 Guides India to Victory in First T20I Against Bangladesh

Jul 10, 2023

Harmanpreet Kaur's Unbeaten 54 Guides India to Victory in First T20I Against Bangladesh Image

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur played a magnificent unbeaten knock of 54 off 35 balls to lead India to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first T20I at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Chasing a modest target of 115, India lost early wickets of Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues in the Power-play. However, Harmanpreet, who was dropped on 24, capitalized on the opportunity and struck six boundaries and two sixes at a strike rate of 154.29 to guide India to victory with 22 balls to spare. She shared a crucial 70-run partnership with Smriti Mandhana, who contributed 38 off 34 balls.

With this win, India takes a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second game scheduled for Tuesday.

India faced an early setback when young pacer Marufa Akhter dismissed Shafali Verma lbw for a two-ball duck in the opening over. Smriti Mandhana started with a boundary, but Jemimah Rodrigues lost her wicket while attempting a cut shot. However, Harmanpreet and Smriti displayed their batting prowess, scoring boundaries regularly. Smriti showcased her skills in cuts, lofts, and pulls, while Harmanpreet used her feet against spinners and employed the sweep and pull shots effectively.

Although Smriti was stumped off Sultana Khatun, Harmanpreet reached her 11th T20I fifty with a massive slog-sweep for six off Salma Khatun. She finished the match in style with a four through the leg-side.

Earlier, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, and debutant Minnu Mani took one wicket each, contributing to India's disciplined bowling performance. Bangladesh struggled to build momentum and could only manage a below-par score of 114/5. Shorna Akter's unbeaten 28, including two sixes, helped Bangladesh cross the 100-run mark. Openers Shamima Sultana and debutant Shathi Rani added 27 runs for the first wicket, but Minnu dismissed Sultana, and Pooja removed Shathi to put India in control.

Bangladesh faced further trouble with a mix-up resulting in the run-out of captain Nigar Sultana. India's spinners then restricted the run-flow, with Shafali Verma taking a wicket by having Sobhana stumped easily. Despite a couple of sixes from Shorna, Bangladesh's innings lacked momentum, and they finished at 114/5.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 114/5 in 20 overs (Shorna Akter 28 not out, Sobhana Mostary 23; Pooja Vastrakar 1-16, Shafali Verma 1-18) lost to India 118/3 in 16.2 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 54 not out, Smriti Mandhana 38; Sultana Khatun 2-25, Marufa Akter 1-18) by seven wickets