Naidu and Sultana pick up three wickets each, to take team to seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in final T20I game
The left-arm spin duo of Sravanthi Naidu and Gouher Sultana architected India's seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the third and final Twenty20 International at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox Bazar on Thursday (March 13).
Naidu and Sultana picked up three wickets each as Bangladesh managed only 81 for 8 in its 20 overs. Later, Latika Kumari and Shikha Pandey batted sensibly to take India to the target in 16.4 overs and complete the clean sweep.
After electing to bat, Bangladesh was on the back foot immediately as Shubhlakshmi Sharma bowled Shamima Sultana in the first over of the match.
Ayasha Rahman and Salma Khatun, the captain, got together to produce Bangladesh’s best phase in the game, adding 42 runs for the second wicket, until Naidu bowled Rahman for 18.
Naidu and Sultana then took over the proceedings as Bangladesh failed to score runs off them. Together, they conceded only 30 runs in eight overs.
Naidu's 3 for 13 was her second significant haul of the series, having picked up 4 for 9, her career best, in the first T20I, which India won by 16 runs.
Karuna Jain too shined in the special show by Naidu and Sultana – with four stumpings against her name, she became the second Indian wicketkeeper after Sulakshana Naik to register four dismissals in a T20I innings. Naik has achieved the feat twice. Jain also became the fourth wicketkeeper overall to inflict four stumpings in an innings.
Except for Rahman and Khatun, who top scored with 34, none of the other Bangladeshi batters could reach double figures.
Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, leading the team in the absence of Mithali Raj, perished within the Power Play overs of the chase. But, Latika and Pandey added 48 runs for the third wicket to take India close to victory.
Latika was caught behind off Khatun for 36, but Pandey remained unbeaten on 26 to finish off the task.
India plays its first warm-up game of the ICC Women’s World T20 against New Zealand in Sylhet on March 18.