Harmanpreet special gives India 1-0 lead

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Harmanpreet scored 54* off 35
Harmanpreet scored 54* off 35 © BCB

Led by Harmanpreet Kaur's unbeaten 35-ball 54, India secured a comfortable 7-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first T20I at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka to go one-up in the three-match series.

The visitors got off to a tricky start in the 115-run chase, with Shafali Verma getting trapped legbefore by Marufa Akter in the first over, for a duck. Jemimah Rodrigues followed her back to the pavilion three overs later - chopping Sultana Khatun's delivery back on to her stumps - as India were reduced to 21 for 2 in four overs. However, the Indian captain and vice captain joined forces in the middle to bail the team out. Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana stitched a steady 70-run stand for the third wicket to set the platform for India's victory.

Mandhana didn't take time to get going. Even after losing Rodrigues, she didn't hold back and put away consecutive short deliveries by Akter for boundaries. She meted out a similar treatment to Khatun's half-tracker in the next over as India powered away to 41 by the end of the powerplay.

The duo restored to strike rotation through the middle overs, picking up singles and twos before Harmanpreet launched an attack on Nahida Akter in the 11th over, clubbing her for consecutive boundaries. An attempted slog off Khat in the next over almost brought about her downfall. However, the bowler failed to hold on to the top edge. She then went down the track to Rabeya Khan in the next over and carted a six.

Even as Mandhana's attempt to keep up the tempo with her partner backfired - she got stumped in the next over off Khatun's bowling - India were well on course to victory. In the 17th over, Hampanpreet smashed her second six to bring up her fifty and level the scores.

Earlier in the day, Bangladesh were restricted to 114 for 5 after being put in to bat. Shathi Rani and Shamima Sultana had made a steady start to the innings, despite playing out a maiden first over off Pooja Vastrakar. Even as the duo departed, Bangladesh were placed in a steady position mid way through their innings - at 58 for 2. However, they struggled to find the extra gear, especially through the middle overs. Shobana Mostary tottered her way to a 33-ball 23 before being stumped off Shafali Verma.

Shorna Akter stroked a run-a-ball 28, the highest score of the innings, which included two sixes, but there was little support from the other end as Bangladesh were tied down to a below-par score.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 117/5 in 20 overs (Shorna Akter 28, Shobana Mostary 23; Pooja Vastrakar 1-16) lost to India 118/3 in 16.2 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 54*, Smriti Mandhana 38; Sultana Khatun 2-25) by 7 wickets




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