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Clinical India choke Sri Lanka, take 1-0 lead in T20I series



Jemimah Rodrigues

Dambulla: The Indian bowlers choked the Sri Lankan women’s team after Jemimah Rodrigues’s vital knock on return to secure a convincing 34-run victory in the first T20 International on Thursday.

Defending a modest 139, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav (2/22) made her presence felt right after the powerplay by dismissing the dangerous-looking Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu (16) and Harsihtha Madavi (10) in three balls.

India didn’t get off to the best start with the bat as opener Smriti Mandhana (1 off 6) and Sabbhineni Meghana, in at No 3, was dismissed for a duck in the fourth over.

Shafali Verma (31 off 31) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (22 off 20) then added a 39-run partnership for the third wicket but just as the visitors were starting to find some rhythm in their innings, both batters were dismissed in a span of five deliveries.

In reply, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were never on top in the chase.

Rodrigues, for her crucial knock, was declared the player of the match.

The second T20I will be played at the same venue on Saturday.

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