Indian women’s team crash to its first-ever defeat against Bangladesh

Indian women's team crash to its first-ever defeat against Bangladesh

MIRPUR, July 16: The Indian women’s team continued its embarrassing batting show to suffer its first-ever ODI defeat against Bangladesh following a 40-run loss in the opening game here on Sunday.

Debutant seamer Amanjot Kaur’s four-wicket haul and an impressive bowling performance of restricting the hosts to 152 in 43 overs was completely undone by the batting unit as it was all out for 113 in 35.5 overs to trail 0-1 in the three-match series.

It was a 44-over per side game due to rain and India’s target was revised to 154 via Duckworth-Lewis method.

India’s batting has been dismal to say the least in the preceding WT20I series where they were restricted to 95 in the second game but somehow managed to win it.

Bangladesh also strangled them in the third and final game which India lost and the poor form seemed to have continued from the shortest format.

Deepti Sharma’s 20 off 40 balls was the top score as Indian batters cut a sorry figure against the ‘Tigresses’, who have made life miserable for the visitors with their spin attack.

Leg-spinner Rabeya Khan ran through the middle-order with figures of 3 for 30, while new-ball bowler Marufa Akter with 4 for 29 had the best figures. “We didn’t take responsibility and bat well. In bowling also, we were not up to the mark,” skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said after the game.

“Sometimes some bowlers bowl very well, overall we are not batting up to the mark and not bowling according to our strengths. We have done well in ODI cricket and we have to back ourselves.”

While Harmanpreet (5) was dismissed quickly, India lost the match in the middle overs where Jemimah Rodrigues (10 off 26 balls), Deepti (20 off 40 balls) and debutant Amanjot (15 off 40 balls) batted nearly 18 overs among them but could score only 45 runs.

While Amanjot can be excused as it was her debut and she doesn’t have enough experience at this level, same can’t be said about Rodrigues (23rd game) and Deepti (80th game).

Jemimah’s scores in last five ODIs are 190, 8, 4, 10 and it is equally bad in T20s with a sporadic performance here and there. Yet, she has been given the longest rope for the longest time.

In case of Deepti, her power-game hasn’t improved to a level one thought would having played 50-over cricket for a decade. Earlier, debutant Amanjot had a dream outing as her 4 for 31 put India in command after the rain-hit game was reduced to 44 overs per side.

India, aided by the Amanjot’s magical spell and restrictive bowling from Sneh Rana and Deepti, managed to get a vice-like grip on the opponents from the start. Amanjot got her maiden ODI wicket when she bowled a fuller delivery to opener Murshida Khatun in the ninth over, which swung around off.

The Bangladesh batter went for the drive but mis-timed it and Harmanpreet took a low catch at mid-off, reducing the hosts to 14 for 2 in the eighth over at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Sneh Rana had earlier got India the first breakthrough when opener Sharmin Akhter was run out off the spinner’s bowling in the eight over.

The pressure of not being able to score in heavy overcast conditions and a soggy outfield took a toll as Akhter was caught well short of the crease after she responded to Murshida’s call to take a quick run.

Amanjot’s accurate throw from short-third man to Yastika Bhatia saw the wicketkeeper rip off the bails even as the Bangladesh batter dived full length to make it to safety.  Akhter did not even wait for the TV umpire’s decision as she made the long walk back to the dressing room.

The start of the 16th over saw a rain interruption lasting more than an hour but, on resumption, the painfully slow rate of scoring continued with Bangladesh struggling at 63 for 3 at the end of the 21st over. Though veteran top-order batter Fargana Hoque (27) batted confidently in the company of skipper Nigar Sultana, she became Amanjot’s second victim off the penultimate ball of the 21st over.

Playing the cut on the back-foot, Hoque got an outside edge to wicketkeeper Bhatia. Skipper Sultana too perished soon, trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Amanjot, bringing more cheers for the pacer and the India camp. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals as the Bangladesh innings wound up with one over still left as the last batter, Shorna Akter, was absent hurt. (PTI)