Harmanpreet played an responsible knock of 56 to take India to a fighting total © AFP (file image)
Harmanpreet played an responsible knock of 56 to take India to a fighting total © AFP (file image)

Bangladesh restricted India to 112 after opting to bowl first in the Womens Asia Cup 2018 final. A track full of cracks was always a paradise for the Bangladesh spinners and their tight fielding added on to it. India failed to keep going in the start scoring mere 21 in the Powerplay with the loss of one wicket of Smriti Mandhana (7). It was the innings of Harmanpreet Kaur (56) gave India something to fight for.

Mandhana timed a beautiful inside out shot for boundary over the covers in the second over off Salma Khatun. However, in the next over she survived a stumping chance. It was not long since then when Mithali Raj played a fine shot when Mandhana was run-out at the strikers end trying to complete the third run.

Dried boundaries

The Bangladesh spinners had kept things tight in the Powerplay. The one boundary hit in the second over was almost saved by the fielder in the deep. It was after the Powerplay that pacer Jahanara Alam was introduced. Deepti Sharma trying to get into the mind of the bowler tried shuffling her feet but it resulted to her wicket as she was bowled off an inside edge.

Mithali was soon out in the next over when she got a leading edge resulting to a simple catch to Fargana Hoque at mid-off. It was in the 9th over when Harmanpreet broke the shackles and hit one boundary to Jahanara on the leg side. She did the same in her next over as well this time twice. India hit a total of 10 boundaries in their innings.

Anuja’s costly obstruction

Anuja Patil came to bat along with the skipper after the wicket of Mithali. She was rotating the strike well with her when suddenly in the 9th over she decided to sneak in a single when Harmanpreet chopped the ball towards the keeper. Anuja was almost half way down the pitch when she turned back. The replays showed that she saw the keeper throwing the ball and changed her track accordingly while running. The throw hit her on the shoes as she made her ground.

The Bangladeshi players appealed for obstruction in the field. The on field umpires decided to go upstairs for final conclusion giving a soft signal of not out. However, the running seemed pretty intentional which resulted Anuja her wicket.

Captain’s stand

Harmanpreet came to bat in the 7th over after Deepti’s dismissal. She understood the situation well and rose to the occasion. She played a responsible knock of 56 (42) with changing partners at the other end. Had she given away her wicket cheaply India would have struggled to make it to the triple figure mark.  She hit 7 boundaries in her innings and was out on the last delivery trying to smash a six off Khadija Tul Kubra. The eight wicket partnership of 33 runs between her and Jhulan Goswami (10) proved to be crucial for the defending champions.

Bangladesh batters will give their all in to win their maiden Asia Cup title. Indian bowlers have a huge job to do if they want to maintain their record of never losing the Asia Cup.

Brief Score

India Women 112 for 9 in 20 overs [ Harmanpreet Kaur 56 (42), Veda Krishnamurthy 11 (10); Rumana Ahmed 4-0-22-2] vs Bangladesh Women