Thursday, 6 July 2017

Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav lead India to fourth win in a row

  1. India women 232 for 8 (Deepti 78, Raj 53, Sripali 3-28) beat Sri Lanka women 216 for 7 (Manodara 61, Yadav 2-23, Goswami 2-26) by 16 runs.

Deepti Sharma's 78 was her sixth ODI half-century
If four top-order half-centuries had powered Sri Lanka's 138-run shock knockout blow to India in the 2013 World Cup in Mumbai, this time around their middle and lower order made a spirited attempt to bring India's winning streak to an end in Derby. But that was not to be as Deepti Sharma set up a 16-run victory - India's fourth successive one in the tournament - courtesy a 78-run knock and 10 crucial overs that returned 1 for 46.
After India opted to bat on a fresh pitch that barely had any tinge of green, Deepti's 118-run third-wicket partnership with captain Mithali Raj laid the platform for India's 232. While the total was 18 short of what Raj had originally intended to get, her decision to introduce legspinner Poonam Yadav in the 16th over proved crucial in ensuring it was enough. Yadav's mix of legbreaks and wrong 'uns sniped out two top-order batsmen in Chamari Atapattu and Nipuni Hansika, and bumped up the required rate with a flurry of dots.

To begin, it was Sri Lanka who kept a tight leash on things. Medium-pacer Sripali Weerakkodyand left-arm spinner Chandima Gunaratne bothered Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut in dominating opening spells with well-planned lengths, sending them back for 8 and 16 respectively. That India were off to a shaky, sluggish start at 39 for 2 in the 11th over was also down to Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera's attacking field placements. She ensured a short cover and short leg breathed down the batsmen's necks relentlessly even well after the first Powerplay.

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