India women begin WT20 on winning note with 72-run win over Bangladesh


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India women’s team captain Mithali Raj on Tuesday said both batters and bowlers helped the team to turn the tables on Bangladesh, beating them in the opening match of the World T20 in Bengaluru by 72 runs.

“As batters we definitely wanted to give a good start, which we did, though we lost a few wickets in the middle, but Veda (Krishnamurthy) and Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) got us back into the game and helped us put on 160 plus total,” she said.

“We were expecting showers and in this scenario we didn’t want to leak too many runs in first five overs, since in a truncated game five overs are cut off point for a result. Our bowlers did well and thereafter, they unleashed a tight line. Yes, our batters and bowlers made the cut for us,” Mithali told reporters in Bengaluru.

Mithali said it was their strategy to have Smriti Mandhana at one down in the event of losing Vanitha or herself early on because openers usually take risk to score runs in first six overs.

“Smriti is a very important wicket for us. We want a batter like her in the event of losing Vanitha early on, because openers take risk in first six overs,” she said.

Player of the Match Harmanpreet Kaur said that the batting is no more dependent on Mithali as they have good top order batswomen.

“Of course good openers including Vanitha have helped me play freely. In the last two years, we did not have good openers and we all depended on Mithali, but things have changed for now. If Mithali doesn’t click in some matches, we take up the challenge and see the team through,” Kaur said.

“Mithali had already settled when I walked in. She told me to first settle down and she would go for the hits,” she said.

Brief Scores: India 163/5 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 42, Harmanpreet Kaur 40; Fahima Khatun 2/31, Rumana Ahmed 2/35) won against Bangladesh 91/5 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 27; Anuja Patil 2/16, Poonam Yadav 2/17).

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