Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana Lead India to 3-0 Series Victory Over Bangladesh

India secured a comprehensive series victory over Bangladesh in the third T20I, guided by standout performances from Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.

The match saw India restrict Bangladesh to a below-par 117 for 8 before chasing down the target with seven wickets in hand and nine balls to spare, sealing the five-match series with a commanding 3-0 lead.

Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana Lead India to 3-0 Series Victory Over Bangladesh

Bangladesh 117 for 8 (Akther 39, Radha 2-22) lost to India 118 for 3 (Shafali 51, Mandhana 47) by seven wickets.

On a cloudy day, India chose to bowl first and held the hosts to a disappointing 117 for 8. To finish off the formalities for India, Mandhana hit 47 while Shafali scorched to a 38-ball 51. As of right moment, Bangladesh has dropped all six of their T20I matches.

After a dismal tour in 2023, in which Shafali scored a total of 30 runs and Mandhana 52 from three matches, India would be happy with both of their openers scoring some runs in Bangladesh, the site of the T20 World Cup later this year. The pair blunted Bangladesh on Thursday by putting up a strong display off 73 balls in a boundary-filled opening stand. With 2075 runs from 65 innings in T20Is, Mandhana and Shafali have amassed the second-highest total of any team and the most for an Indian duo.

Shafali set off the pyrotechnics right away, hitting left-arm pacer Fariha Trisna’s head with a forceful lofted drive in the second over. She reached 45 off 28 balls by taking advantage of the bowlers’ wayward deliveries, hitting eight fours during the powerplay. This included three straight fours off the over of Nahika Akter, a left-arm spinner.

India was 59 for 0 at the end of the powerplay, requiring just 59 from the 84 balls left. In the thirteenth over, Ritu Moni produced a breathtaking one-handed return catch to remove Shafali and end the opening partnership.

Mandhana, on the other hand, rotated the strike consistently and produced graceful cover drives, sweeps, and paddle sweeps to keep the scorecard ticking. In the ninth over, she also down the track and clobbered a six over long-on boundary off legspinner Rabeya Khan. She skied one to deep square leg off Nahida Akter and looked destined to register her first T20I fifty in Bangladesh, but she fell three short. She struck five fours and one six in 41 balls overall.

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After 12 overs, Bangladesh took three wickets for 19 runs, but India reached the mark in 18.3 overs, and it was too late for them to salvage any advantage.

Bangladesh got off to a good start in the innings, as both openers Dilhara Akter and Murhsida Khatun finished the powerplay undefeated. During that phase, they scored 44 for 0 and also profited from India’s careless fielding. In the fifth over, Harmanpreet Kaur lost a catch for the second time in as many games, giving Dilhara a life. Dilhara went on to score a rapid 39.

In the subsequent over, Dilhara attempted a sweep but square-legted after hitting the top edge, making it impossible for S Sajana to hold onto the catch. India also failed to dismiss Akter with a run-out in the same over.

But after scoring 46 runs for the first wicket partnership, Bangladesh lost some momentum in the middle overs, much like they did in the second game. In the seventh over, Murshida (9 off 16) was run-out after Deepti Sharma hit a clean shot from point after Radha Yadav had given a free-hit. During her 27-ball stay, Dilhara hit five clean boundaries to lay a strong foundation. However, in the eighth over, she was caught behind by Renuka Singh’s slower delivery.

Before Mostary was out in the 14th over, Bangladeshi skipper Nigar Sultana and Mostary exchanged 30 runs off 36 for the third wicket. Bangladesh lost the next six wickets for 32 runs after falling to 85 for 2. This was the catalyst for the collapse. Radha claimed 2 for 22 in the end, with wickets shared by Shreyanka and Pooja Vastrakar.

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