Sabbineni Meghana came to open in place of Smriti Mandhana and scored 69 runs off 53 balls to give India a big run. In reply, Malaysia lost 2 wickets for 16 runs in 5.2 overs. After that, not a single ball was played in the rain. After 5 overs, the fate of the match was determined by the Duckworth-Lewis method. India won by 30 runs. The second win in a row moved India to second place in the league table. Pakistan is at the top.
Meghana’s aggressive batting set the tone for the Indian innings. A total of 11 4s and a six was a devastating opener. Finally, Shafali Varma also returned to the rhythm. She scored 46 runs off 39 balls. Hit one four and three sixes. 33 runs from 19 balls by Richa Ghosh. She also hit five fours and a six. Hemlata scored ten runs in four balls towards the end. India scored 181 runs after losing four wickets in twenty overs.
The important contribution of Meghana
Meghana was chosen as the best of the match. This is her highest score in T20 International. Meghana said, “The feeling of being able to score runs for the team cannot be expressed in words. It takes a whole year of intensive practice to do this. This inning was very significant today.”
There was little chance of big runs on Sylhet’s pitch on Monday. But India gave away big runs easily in Meghana’s batting. She said, “I was not thinking much about the wicket. The ball was coming into the bat. I wanted to show my normal batting.”
Meghana enjoyed the opening pair with Shafali. In her words, “The team got the results of the pair I formed with Shafali in the beginning. I didn’t have to do anything special.”
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur said that seeing the possibility of rain, the two new spinners started bowling. So that at least 5 overs could be done quickly. In Harmanpreet’s words, “To decide the result of the match in the DL system, the first 5 overs would have to be played. So, we gave the ball to Rajeshwari and Deepti. As they got two wickets, I thought we were winning the match. The rain came at the right time.”
The captain praised Meghana and Shafali. Said, “Meghana and Shafali’s attacks, in the beginning, boosted our morale. The wicket was not very helpful for batting. Still, they scored runs quickly. Richa also batted brilliantly. She added valuable runs towards the end. That’s the kind of innings we want towards the end.” She also said, “Shafali was told to spend time on the wicket. Because if she is on the wicket, the runs will come. That’s what she did.”
India’s next match is against UAE. Harmanpreet is desperate to win against them too. Said, “We will not take any opponent lightly. We will play our best in every match.”