India Women won their first match of the tournament by 64 runs    Getty Images
India Women won their first match of the tournament by 64 runs Getty Images

Bangkok: Indian women produced a professional performance to beat Bangladesh by 64 runs in their opening match of the Women’s Asia Cup T20 tournament on Saturday. The experienced pair of Mithali Raj (49 not out) and Smriti Mandhana (41) put up a 70- run stand for the opening wicket to take India to 118 for six in 20 overs. The team led by Harmanpreet Kaur was clinical with the ball, bowling out Bangladesh for a mere 54 runs for a comprehensive victory. The star bowler for India was leggie Poonam Yadav, who picked up three wickets and conceded just 13 runs in four overs. READ: BCCI neglected ICC mails on India-Pakistan women’s matches, report sources

India, whose participation in the tournament was under cloud due to the presence of arch-rivals Pakistan, next play hosts Thailand on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether they face Pakistan on November 29. Both teams are scheduled to play the exciting clash, according to the Asian Cricket Council website. The Indians, however, go into their game against Thailand high on confidence with the result on Saturday. Raj, who was removed as T20 captain prior to the tournament, proved why she still has a lot to offer in the shortest format. She remained unbeaten right till the end and just two boundaries in her 59 ball knock showed how hard she had to work for every run.

India should have set a bigger total, especially with the kind of start provided by the openers. However, that wasn’t to be as they lost their way in the second half of the innings. In the other match of the day, Pakistan too began their campaign on an emphatic note by giving Nepal a nine wicket thrashing.

Brief scores:

India Women 118 for 6 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 49, Smriti Mandhana 41; Kaldija Tul Kubra 2 for 12) win vs Bangladesh Women 54 in 18.2 overs (Shaila Sharmin 18, Salma Khatun 17; Jhulan Goswami 2 for 10, Poonam Yadav 3 for 13) by 64 runs.