Renuka, Mandhana star in India's Asia Cup triumph

Saturday, 15 October 2022 (18:00 IST)
Sylhet (Bangladesh): Riding on Renuka Singh and Smriti Mandhana's scintillating performances India dismantled Sri Lanka by eight wickets to romp to victory on Saturday to clinch their seventh Asia Cup title.(Pic Courtesy- DD News)

Asked to field first, India restricted Sri Lanka to 65/9 in 20 overs. In reply, Mandhana’s unbeaten 25-ball 51 helped India chase the target in just 8.3 overs.

There was to be no giant-killing act like the 2018 edition as India’s bowlers, led by pacer Renuka (3/5), made light work of Sri Lanka.

After opting to bat, the Sri Lankan top order was no match for Renuka’s swing and pace. The 26-year-old’s fiery first spell all but ended Lankan hopes as they finished the powerplay with half the side back in the pavilion.

Poor running also cost Sri Lanka dearly with captain Chamari Athapaththu and Anushka Sanjeewani falling short of their ground following miscommunication in the middle.

Renuka was ably supported by her spin attack, which also had a field day with the ever-consistent Sneh Rana and Rajeshwari Gayakwad bagging a couple of wickets each.

The tone, though, was set by Deepti Sharma’s mean spell (0/7 in 4 overs) at the start of the innings.

Harmanpreet’s captaincy was at her best, be it her aggressive field placements or the clever rotation of spinners on a slow track as Sri Lanka were unable to build any sort of momentum.
There was a late flurry from Inoka Ranaweera, one of two Sri Lankans to reach double figures.

In response, Mandhana was in a hurry to finish the innings with a flurry of early boundaries putting India on course to victory. Ranaweera’s left-arm spin accounted for the early dismissal of Shafali Verma.

Jemimah Rodrigues was flummoxed by a delivery that almost died on the pitch. Still, Mandhana’s onslaught continued and finished proceedings with a massive six as India lay down their marker for the 2023 World Cup in South Africa.(UNI)

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