India thrashes Bangladesh by 110 runs to stay alive in the race for the playoffs

Sneh Rana played a crucial role in India’s triumph over Bangladesh with a four-wicket haul

India was up against Bangladesh in the ‘Match 22’ of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022, the Indian team was coming into the fixture with two consecutive losses and were in desperate need of a win to stay alive in the race to the playoffs.

This was a comprehensive performance from the Indian girls and they keep their chances of qualifying to the semi-final well and truly alive. A victory by a huge margin of 110 runs has also bolstered their net run rate in case there is a cluster for the last two teams. It was a professional effort from all the Indian bowlers as they managed to restrict Bangladesh to and secured a convincing victory.

India opted to bat first after winning the toss and got off to a brilliant start, Smrithi Mandhana and Shafali Verma looked unstoppable, peppering the bowler for runs all around the park. The pair took India past the 50 run mark, the pitch offered very little assistance to the Bangladesh fast bowlers in the first hour of play. Verma took on the attack and got runs at a quick pace.

India lost Smrithi Mandhana in the 15th over when the score was 74, Shafali and Mithali were dismissed on back-to-back deliveries in the very next over by Ritu Moni, the bowler was on a Hat-trick when Harmanpreet Kaur walked into bat. Kaur negated the hat-trick ball and went on to stitch an important partnership with Yastika Bhatia who was looking very solid at the other end. 

Just when India looked like they were going to up the ante, Kaur lost her wicket due to a run-out in the 28th over courtesy of a brilliant direct hit by Fargana Hoque, Bangladesh was amazing in the field through the day and also in the tournament. Bhatia was dismissed on 50 in trying to paddle one down the leg side, the Indian lower order chipped in with runs, Richa Ghosh contributed with a significant knock of 26, Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar got some valuable runs towards the end for the innings, and took India to 229 at the end of 50 over.   

The Bangladesh bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals, not allowing any Indian batter to settle down, they were brilliant in the field but it’s their batting that has been a worry in this tournament.

India celebrate as Pooja Vastrakar picks up the wicket of Fargana Hoque

India celebrate as Pooja Vastrakar picks up the wicket of Fargana Hoque

Bangladesh could never really get going in the run-chase. Barring a sensational six off the blade of Murshiida Khatun of Jhulan Goswami in the power play, the Indian bowlers were all over the Bangladesh batters not giving them an opportunity to let loose. Rajashwari Gayakwad got the maiden breakthrough in the form of Sharmin Akhter’s wicket and that started the downward slide for Bangladesh.

The spin trio of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sneh Rana and Poonam Yadav spun a web around the Bangladesh batters and they could never really recover from their torrid start. They kept sliding down the barrel while Sneh Rana in particular kept chipping away with the wickets. Gayakwad bowled brilliantly but only bagged a wicket but Rana was at her imperious best bagging a four-wicket haul as Bangladesh were bowled out for 119 runs.

Yastika Bhatia was awarded the Player of the Match in the contest for her crucial knock of 50 runs off 80 deliveries. Skipper Mithali Raj was happy with the big margin of the win and talked about the importance of the win in terms of qualifying for the knockouts.

She said,

“It was a game for us to win and yes we are happy with the win. Sometimes it happens over a long period of time. The last time when I was inconsistent was in 2021. It happens. We will look forward to the next game. The opening partnership was really good. It’s very important for the new batter in this wicket to adjust. Yastika played a very good anchor knock. Despite losing back to back matches we have managed to keep ourselves in the tournament. Having an all-rounder gives the picture of batting deep. In a tournament like this, we must have options in the death in both tournaments.”

India will be satisfied with the big win over Bangladesh but will have to be focused on their big clash against South Africa as the team still need to finish with a win to confirm their berth into the playoffs rather than banking on the results of the remaining group stage fixtures.