Harman leads from the front, India Seal series: The Tribune India


Dambulla, June 25

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur contributed with both bat and ball to steer India’s women’s cricket team to a five-wicket winning streak against Sri Lanka in the second T20 International here today.

Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana scored for India with 39 carries on 34 balls as the team chased the target of 126 carries in 19.1 overs. India stuttered in what should have been a comfortable chase before Harmanpreet brought India home with 31 balls unbeaten from 32.

Smriti exceeds 2,000

Mandhana became the second fastest Indian woman to reach 2,000 international T20 races. Mandhana achieved the feat in 84 innings, becoming the third Indian woman after Mithali Raj (70 innings) and Harmanpreet (88 innings) to clear the bar.

Choosing to beat first, Sri Lanka squandered a strong start to post a sub-par 125/7. Captain Chamari Athapaththu (43 from 41 balls) and Vishmi Gunaratne (45 from 50 balls) provided an ideal start. The duo completed 87 runs – Sri Lanka’s best opening stand in the T20Is. However, after the departure of Athapaththu and Gunaratne, Sri Lanka lost a host of wickets. Deepti Sharma (2/34) was the top bowler.

The third and final T20 will be played here on Monday.

Short scores: Sri Lanka 125/7 (Gunaratne 45, Athapaththu 43; Deepti 2/34); India 127/5 (Mandhana 39, Harmanpreet 31*).

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