Hamilton, March 22 Yastika Bhatia’s gritty half-century and Sneh Rana’s all-round performance saw India take a dominant 110-run victory over Bangladesh and keep them in the hunt for a semi-final spot at the ICC Women’s World Cup, on Tuesday. India chose to bat and recovered from a mid-inning collapse, posting a modest 229 for seven, riding a responsible 80-ball 50 from Bhatia and a late bloom from Rana (27) and Pooja Vastrakar (30). The spinners, led by Rana (4/30), defended the total and controlled the course of the match at regular intervals.
India defeated Bangladesh by 119 in 40.3 overs to record their third win of the tournament. The big win helped India further improve their Net-Run-Rate (0.768).
The team led by Mithali Raj will face South Africa in the last league match on Sunday. If the second-seeded Proteas beat the West Indies for that match on Thursday, India’s chances in the semi-finals will increase.
India’s decision to use senior spinner Poonam Yadav (1/25) instead of pacer Meghna Singh paid off. With spinners operating on a slow lane from both sides, Bangladesh found scoring points difficult.
India limits Bangladesh to 69/5 after 25 overs.
Lata Mondal (24) and Salma Khatun (32) created some resistance with a 40-run partnership that was broken by Jhulan Goswami when she sacked the latter, while Vastrakar provided the first a few overs later.
The tempo duo Goswami (2/19) and Vastrakar (2/26) split four wickets between them, while the spinners took care of the rest.
Earlier, Smriti Mandhana (30) and Shafali Verma (42) shared 74 runs for the opening wicket, but Ritu Moni (3/37) and Nahida Akter (2/42) shared five wickets to bring India back from 74 without a loss to 108 for 4 in one phase.
Mandhana eventually struck out directly at Fargana Hoque from Akter, while Moni struck twice in two balls in the next over to leave India at 74 for 3 in 15.4 overs.
While Verma was attacked by Nigar Sultana, skipper Mithali Raj (0) was out for a first-ball duck as India lost three wickets in quick succession.
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur (14) then joined Bhatia as the two tried to bring the innings back to life, but the duo scored just 34 runs in 70 balls before a direct throw from Hoque caught the former short of her tuck.
Bhatia (50 out of 80) and Richa Ghosh (26) then added 54 runs to take India past the 150 run.
The duo played at a good pace with Ghosh beating Lata Mondal (0/20) consecutively in the 30th over.
However, Akter brought Bangladesh back into play when she caught Ghosh behind it while trying to cut a ball that was too close to the body.
After she completed her fifty, Bhatia also perished in the next ball trying to scoop a scoop, only to be caught by her short, fine leg.
Vastrakar (30) and Rana (27) then came together at 180 for 6 at the end of the 44th to add 48 from 38 balls, taking India past the 200 runs. With the two strong, the last 10 overs yielded 64 runs.
Short Scores: India: 229 for 7 in 50 overs (Yastika Bhatia 50, Shafali Verma 42; Nahida Akter 2/42, Ritu Moni 3/37).
Bangladesh: 119 all-out in 40.3 overs (Salma Khatun 32, Lata Monday 24; Sneh Rana 4/30).
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