India women win series with 10-wicket win over SL

Pallekele (Sri Lanka), July 4 (UNI): Renuka Singh’s four-wicket haul followed by a record opening stand between Smriti Mandhana (94 not out) and Shefali Verma (71 not out) helped India women register a comprehensive 10-wicket victory and go 2-0 up in the ODI series against Sri Lanka here on Monday at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

With the win, India have not only gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series but also got two crucial points taking their total to four in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25.

In only her fourth ODI, Renuka put up a stunning performance, ably assisted by Meghana Singh, to bowl out Sri Lanka for a sub-par total. Thakur had picked up three wickets in the first match with the hosts folding for a similar total of 171.

Renuka got to work soon enough, dismissing three Sri Lankan players under seven overs. Meghana took the all-important scalp of skipper Chamari Athapaththu as the hosts were reduced to 42/4 in the 16th over. She also dismissed Nilakshi de Silva crippling Sri Lanka further.

Anushka Sanjeewani and Kavisa Dilhari were both run out and Deepti Sharma cleaned up the tail with the wickets of Inoka Ranaweera and Achini Kulasuriya. A tight bowling performance meant that Sri Lanka were able to hit only 11 fours in their innings as they were bowled out for 173.

Sri Lanka’s total would have been even lower if not for Ama Kanchana’s gritty resistance. Kanchana, who came in at No.7 when Dilhari got out in the 25th over had a tall ask with only 81 runs on the board. She shared a stabilising 42-run seventh-wicket stand with de Silva. Unfortunately, she ran out of partners and was left stranded on 47 not out.

India openers were quick to chase down,174-run target, winning under 26 overs. Mandhana and Shafali started out cautiously but soon abandoned that approach to take on a more aggressive role.

India’s fifty came up in the ninth over and from there the duo did not look back. It helped that Sri Lanka were poor in the field and both batters had a couple of chances put down.

Soon after her fifty, Mandhana accelerated with Verma playing her shots at the other end as they raced to complete a win without losing a wicket. Their 174-run stand is the fifth-highest partnership for India in women’s ODIs and the highest against Sri Lanka.

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