Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front as the Indian women's cricket team defeated Sri Lanka by 51 runs in the last T20I of the bilateral series. While Harmanpreet scored her 63 off just 38 balls, Poonam Yadav scalped three wickets to deny the home side a consolation win in the final T20I game.
Brief scores: India women’s team 156/10 (Harmanpreet Kaur 63, Jemimah Rodrigues 46; Shashikala Siriwardane 3/19) beat Sri Lanka women’s team (Anushka Sanjeewani 29, Shashikala Siriwardane 22; Poonam Yadav 3/18) by 51 runs.
The Sri Lankan women's team won the toss and decided to bowl first at the FTZ Sports Complex in Katunayake in the fifth T20I of the bilateral series in which the Indians already had taken an unassailable 3-0 lead by winning the fourth game.
Having been sent in to bat first, the Indians didn't have a great start as they lost the wickets of Smriti Mandhana (12) and Mithali Raj (0) inside the fifth over with only 30 runs on the board. Jemimah Rodrigues and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur then combined together to put up a brilliant 75-run stand for the third wicket. While Jemimah got out for 46, Harmanpreet carried on with some wonderful shots all around the park. Wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end but Harmanpreet struck three fours and five sixes in her 38-ball knock to take India past 150. She was the eighth batsman to be dismissed while the remaining two wickets fell quickly as India ended with 156 with nine balls to spare. Shashikala Siriwardane and Inoshi Priyadarshini took three wickets each for the hosts.
Chasing the total, the Lankans, too, suffered a terrible start with their skipper Chamari Athapaththu getting out for a duck to off-spinner Deepti Sharma in the first over of the Lankan innings. Yasoda Mendis soon followed her as she was stumped off the bowling of Deepti. Anushka Sanjeewani (29), Shashikala (22) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (22) got starts in the middle-order but failed to trouble the Indian bowlers as wickets kept on tumbling which made it easier for the visitors. With no significant contributions from the lower-order batters, the Lankans were bowled out for 105 in 17.4 overs handing a 51-run win to India. Poonam Yadav took three wickets while Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav claimed two each for the Indian team.