Tanya, Mansi impress as Indian women beat Sri Lanka, clinch series. 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. In reply, the visitors bowled out the hosts for 212 in 48.1 overs with seamer Mansi Joshi taking 3/51 and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad chipping in with 2/37. 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.
It could have been more but India lost four wickets in the final over with part-time seamer Chamari Atapattu taking three for 42. 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.
But Gayakwad cleaned up Prabodhani and Mansi got Damayanthi to edge one to Tanya behind the stumps to make it 207 for nine. 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. Brief Scores: India 219 in 50 overs (Tanya Bhatia 68 off 66 balls, Mithali Raj 52 off 121 balls). Sri Lanka 212 in 48.1 overs (Chamari Atapattu 57, Shashikala Sriwardene 49, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/37, Mansi Joshi 3/51). India won by 7 runs.
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