Tanya, Mansi impress as Indian women beat Sri Lanka, clinch series

Vastavam web: The Indian women’s cricket team Thursday held its nerves in pressure situations to beat Sri Lanka by seven runs in the second ODI, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. India also earned two additional points as the match is a part of the ICC Women’s Championship. Batting first, India were all out for 219 in 50 overs on a slow track where young wicketkeeper Tanya Bhatia’s 68 off 66 balls turned out to be a match-winning knock.

Earlier, put into bat, the Indians failed to get going primarily due to slow batting from veteran skipper Mithali Raj, who consumed 121 balls to score 52 with four boundaries. Mithali simply couldn’t keep the scoreboard ticking as she failed to find the gaps during the middle overs. Coming to bat in the fifth over, she was finally dismissed in the 39th over, after which the Indian innings gained some momentum. It was youngsters Tanya and Dayalan Hemlatha (35 off 31 balls), who propped up the scoreboard, taking the team closer to the 220-run mark. Opener Atapattu (57, 95 balls) and Shashikala Siriwardene (49) added 89 runs for the fourth wicket to keep the islanders afloat.

However, Siriwardene was run-out and Mansi took a return catch to dismiss Atapattu, as Sri Lanka were reduced to 134 for five from 129 for three. In the lower order, Damayanthi De Silva (31 off 19 balls) kept their hopes alive, hitting two fours and two sixes, while adding 40 runs for the eighth wicket with Kalua Prabodhani (7). At 205 for seven in 46.3 overs, Sri Lanka needed 15 runs from 21 deliveries with three wickets in hand. With only eight required off the last two overs, Mithali asked off-spinner Deepti Sharma to bowl the penultimate over. Last batter Inoka Ranaweera was stumped by Bhatia as she went for a wild slog, giving India victory.