Harmanpreet leads India to series sealing win over Sri Lanka

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur contributed with both bat and ball to steer the Indian women’s cricket team to a series sealing five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second T20 here on Saturday. Vice captain Smriti Mandhana’s (39 off 34 balls) experience complemented by the exuberance of both Shefali Verma (17 off 10 balls) and Sabbhineni Meghana (17 off 10 balls) helped India chase down the 126-run target in 19.1 overs.

India stuttered in what should have been a comfortable run chase before Harmanpreet took India home with an unbeaten 31 of 32 balls. Sri Lanka squandered a fine start to post a below par 125 for seven. The third and final T20 will be played here on Monday.

Captain @ImHarmanpreet bags the Player of the Match award for her superb all-round performance. 👌👌#TeamIndia win the 2nd #SLvIND T20I by 5 wickets and take an unassailable 2⃣-0⃣ lead in the series. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/Pz8XcCGwhH

— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) June 25, 2022

It was a day to remember for Mandhana who became the second fastest Indian woman to reach 2,000 runs T20 runs. Mandhana reached the feat in her 84th innings, becoming the third Indian woman after the legendary Mithali Raj (70 innings) and current skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (88 innings) to cross the mark.

Opting to bat first and with the series on line, it was the duo of captain Chamari Athapaththu (43 off 41 balls) and Vishmi Gunaratne (45 off 50 balls) provided an ideal start for the Lankans by taking the Indian bowlers to the cleaners. The duo also put up Sri Lanka’s best opening stand (87) in T20s to leave the Indians frantically rummaging for breakthroughs.

However, as both Athapaththu and Gunaratne departed, it was a sorry state of affairs for Sri Lanka as they lost a slew of wickets, only managing an underwhelming total. Deepti Sharma (2/34 in 4 overs) was certainly the best bowler on view while the likes of Radha Yadav and Pooja Vastrakar also helped India claw back with the ball.

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