India 52 for 2 (Rodrigues 20*, Shafali 17) beat Bangladesh 51 all out (Nigar 12, Vastrakar 4-17) by eight wickets
Vastrakar’s early incision
Nip-backers, outswingers, hard lengths – Vastrakar showed she’s no one-trick pony as she got it to zip around with the new ball. And in the first over itself, she had two wickets with two different deliveries. Shathi Rani was caught behind first ball of the match after being enticed to drive an away-swinger and Shamima Sultana was trapped lbw playing all around one that hit the seam and jagged back to hit her below-the-knee roll.
In her next over, Vastrakar should have had a third but Smriti Mandhana grassed a sitter at mid-off. Sobhana Mostary couldn’t capitalise, managing just one more run, before being dismissed for 8 in Vastrakar’s third straight over inside the powerplay. And it was almost an action replay of the reprieve. Except Mandhana saw this carefully lodge in her palms.
Run outs add to Bangladesh’s misery
It wasn’t just shot selection that hampered Bangladesh, though. Their running between the wickets was equally poor, and accounted for two run outs that should have never been. Nigar Sultana, one of Bangladesh’s most-accomplished batters, was out attempting a single to extra cover where Devika Vaidya swooped in to effect a direct hit at the bowler’s end.
Two balls later, Fahima Khatun was run out without facing a ball when Ritu Moni dabbed one to short third, where Kanika Ahuja fired a direct hit at the striker’s end. Khatun may have survived had she put in a dive; she didn’t. At 25 for 6, Bangladesh were in danger of not lasting the overs. Nahida Akter and Moni helped Bangladesh huff and puff past 50 before they folded in the 18th over, with five of India’s bowlers finishing among the wickets.
Rodrigues helps India cruise home
India’s chase wasn’t without its own initial hitches. Smriti Mandhana was out to Marufa Akter, misjudging the line of her delivery as she lobbed a leading edge to point for 7. Then with the target two blows away, Shafali Verma who seemed in a hurry, especially in trying to muscle her way against spin, perished. Looking to get inside the line and pull, Shafali was beaten by the slowness of the surface as the ball kept a tad low and sneaked through her legs to crash into the stumps. Rodrigues treaded spin with her patented touch game, using the pace of the bowlers to nudge and deflect deliveries into gaps to make a polished unbeaten 20 to see India home in Ahuja’s company with 70 balls to spare.