SLW v INDW 2022: Smriti Mandhana hails India’s bowlers for scripting series-clinching win in 2nd T20I

India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka.

India won the second T20I by five wickets | GettyIndian women’s cricket team took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka with a five-wicket defeat in the second match at Dambulla on Saturday (June 25).

The visitors produced an impressive bowling performance, restricting Sri Lanka to a paltry 125/7 after the home side were 87 for no loss inside 14 overs. Deepti Sharma (2-34) picked two wickets while Pooja Vastrakar (1-18), Renuka Singh (1-26), Radha Yadav (1-15) and Harmanpreet Kaur (1-12) claimed one scalp each.

In reply, India rode on Smriti Mandhana’s 34-ball 39 and skipper Harmanpreet’s unbeaten 31 to get over the line with five deliveries to spare.

Speaking after the game, India opener Mandhana hailed her side's bowling unit for their terrific display.

"They (bowlers) did a really good job today and also in the last match to defend 139," Mandhana said at the post-match press conference.

"We didn't have to tell them much. It was just about following our game plan as a bowling unit and sticking to it. We knew one or two wickets here and there will get us back in the game.

"Our bowlers were really patient with it. Definitely, we leaked a few runs with some misfields here and there but I'm sure we will come back stronger."

During her knock, Mandhana became the second-fastest Indian woman to reach 2,000 T20I runs. She achieved the milestone in her 84th innings, becoming the third Indian woman after Mithali Raj (70 innings) and current skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (88 innings) to cross the mark.

Mandhana and her opening partner Shafali Verma got off to a flying start and the southpaw said it was about backing their strengths.

"Me and Shafali had a game plan going today. We knew which bowlers to target, we know each other's strengths and weaknesses, it was about our strengths," she said.

"Later on after the power-play, it was more about singles and doubles and not whom to attack as we had only 126 to get. It was about rotating strike and dealing in one and twos."

Mandhana said it was a difficult pitch to bat on.

"It was keeping a bit low, and of course it was on the slower side. So it wasn't an easy pitch to bat on. You had to really work hard on your runs but once you get used to the pace and bounce of the wicket, runs came in," she concluded.

The third and final T20I is slated to be held at Dambulla on Monday (June 27).

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 26 Jun, 2022

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