Mirpur: Indian women’s cricket team, led by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, began their international season with a dominant seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening T20 International in Mirpur. Opting to bowl first, India’s spinners capitalized on the conditions, restricting Bangladesh to a modest 114 for 5. In the chase, Harmanpreet (54*) and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana (38) showcased their batting prowess, adding 70 runs for the third wicket, and securing victory in just 16.2 overs.
Harmanpreet, who received two lifelines, made effective use of the reprieves to power her innings, striking six boundaries and two sixes. Meanwhile, Mandhana set the pace with five exquisite boundaries, including an impressive square cut and an inside-out lofted cover drive. The Indian bowlers laid the foundation for the comfortable chase, with the spin trio of Deepti Sharma, Anusha Bareddy, and Minnu Manni executing Harmanpreet’s plan flawlessly.
Debutant Mani claimed her maiden wicket, dismissing Shamima Sultana, while Pooja Vastrakar’s short ball and perfect fuller delivery accounted for Shathi Rani. Shafali Verma and Shafali tossed up a delivery to pick up crucial wickets. Bangladesh struggled to pierce the off-side field and managed only eight fours and three sixes, facing 62 dot balls during their innings.
In the chase, Shafali fell early due to her lack of footwork, while Jemimah Rodrigues was dismissed while attempting a cut shot. However, once Harmanpreet and Mandhana joined forces, victory seemed inevitable for the Indian team.