Defending a score of just 139 runs, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav (2 for 22) made her presence felt after the powerplay and the dangerous looking Sri Lankan captains Chamari Atapattu (16 runs) and Harshita Madavi (10 runs) made her presence felt. Out within three balls.
Sri Lanka lost three wickets within 27 runs in seven overs. After that the team came under pressure and never seemed to be approaching the target. Then his hopes were shattered by the tight bowling of fast bowler Pooja Vastrakar, who took one wicket for 13 runs from a maiden in four overs.
India got off to a good start by Deepti Sharma who dismissed opener V Gunaratne (nil) in the second over. The senior off-spinner bowled brilliantly in the powerplay and took one wicket for nine runs from a maiden in three overs.
Deepti also took a brilliant catch while running at deep square leg to give Radha Yadav her second wicket of the day.
Kavisha Dilhari came single-handedly for the hosts, scoring 47 off 49 balls with six fours but India’s top-class bowling and excellent fielding ensured that her team took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. .
The hosts needed 78 runs in the last five overs and Kavisha hit some boundaries against Harmanpreet Kaur and Radha Yadav.
But that was not enough as the Indians kept a check on the home team’s run-rate and did not allow them to hit a single six in the innings.
Shafali Verma dismissed Ama Kanchana (11) in the last over, after which Sri Lanka could only manage 104 for five in 20 overs.
The second match of the series will be played on Saturday.
Earlier, deciding to bat, India posted a score of 138 for six with Rodriguez’s 27-ball 36 in front of Sri Lanka’s disciplined bowling.
Lost the wicket of opener Smriti Mandhana (01) in the third over of the innings. The 25-year-old Indian player became a victim of the experienced Oshadi in an attempt to open her hand. Trying to play that shot, the ball was caught by Chamari Atapattu standing straight at mid-on.
Sabhinene Meghna could not add a single run and the experienced Ranasinghe sent her to the dressing room.
The pressure on the team was clearly visible after losing two wickets at the start in hot and humid conditions. The pair of Harmanpreet and Shefali Verma handled this delicate situation.
Shefali (31 runs) was the third player to be dismissed, who was caught by Atapattu when she was trying to play a big shot.
The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled well to ensure that they got a big wicket early and this happened when skipper Harmanpreet (22) was dismissed leg before by spinner Inoka Ranaveera in the 11th over.
Ranaveera took two more wickets to his name, taking the wickets of wicketkeeper-batsman Richa Ghosh (11) and Pooja Vastrakar (14) to take six wickets in the visitors’ 17 overs while his score was just 106 runs.
Returning to the team, Rodriguez played the responsibility of taking India to a respectable score.
Rodriguez, who came out to bat at number five, did not come under pressure and he scored important runs for the team. He hit three fours and a six and at the other end, Deepti Sharma added 17 runs in eight balls.
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