24 February 2020

Teenage wonderkid Shafali Verma stars with bat as India overpower Bangladesh to top Group A at Women's T20 World Cup

India's Shafali Verma struck a superb 39 off just 17 balls to help her side to a comfortable 18-run victory over Bangladesh and move top of Group A at the Women's T20 World Cup.

Following their historic victory over hosts Australia in the opening game, the Indian players came into the match brimming with confidence and put down a marker with the bat as they reached 142-6, the highest score of the tournament.

Bangladesh had no reply and stuttered throughout the chase, with only Nigar Sultana Joty's 35 offering any real resistance against the Indian attack headed up by spinner Poonam Yadav, who starred again with 3-18.

Having been put in to bat, Verma showed no sign of nerves as she hit two fours and four sixes, bludgeoning the Bangladesh openers for 39 runs before miscuing a slice to Shamima Sultana at mid-off, who juggled the ball twice but clung on.

A slight middle-order collapse and a farcical run-out that saw Veda Krishnamurthy and Deepti Sharma diving to make ground at the same end kept the Bangladesh hopes up, but ultimately it was their fielding that let them down.

Sloppy work in the field saw three catches put down as India went over the 140 mark.

The Bangladeshi resistance got off to a poor start, with Sultana falling in the second over and setting the tone for the innings.

Nigar Sultana reached a respectable 35, but with batters falling around her and the run-rate escalating, her efforts were in vain.

Yadav shone again, with her incredibly slow spin catching out a number of the Bangladesh women.

And with Bangladesh needing 22 off the last over, Shikha Pandey came on to bowl and strangled them to just three, while also claiming the wicket of Rumana Ahmed, before Bangladesh finished their 20 overs on 124-8.

India have now taken a maximum of four points from their two games and will now travel to Melbourne to take on New Zealand on Thursday, while Bangladesh face defending champions Australia in Canberra.

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