Sylhet (Bangladesh), Oct 1 (IANS): India captain Harmanpreet Kaur was delighted at young batter Jemimah Rodrigues' knock of 76 setting the base for the side's 41-run win over Sri Lanka in their Women's Asia Cup tournament opener at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
On a hot Saturday afternoon, Jemimah, who missed the tour of England due to a hand injury, steered India to 150/6 with her career-best knock of 76 coming off 53 balls, laced with 11 fours and a six at a strike rate of 143.40. She was also involved in a 92-run partnership for the third wicket with captain Harmanpreet (33) in a match-defining stand.
"After losing two wickets when I went to bat, Jemi (Jemimah) played well and that's what we were expecting from her. We strung a good partnership. She worked well in the NCA and were happy to see her play well. It was not easy after coming back from injury, but we backed her during her tough times and she worked hard in the NCA as well," said Harmanpreet after the match ended.
But after Harmanpreet and then Jemimah fell, things slowed down a bit for India as scored only 16 off the next 14 balls to be at 150/6 in 20 overs. "After losing my wicket, I do feel we were short by 10-20 runs. If Jemi and I continued, we could have closed in on 200. But this is a learning process for us as a team," added Harmanpreet.
The Indian skipper was happy with how her bowlers responded with regular scalps after Sri Lanka were at 39/1 in five overs. "We didn't start well with the ball but the runouts and good bowling got us through. We are happy as a few of our bowlers stood up, especially Deepti Sharma. Deepti was excellent."
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu rued the loss of wickets at regular intervals and run-outs of crucial batters to fall short in the chase of 151. Dayalan Hemalatha (3/15), Deepti Sharma (2/15) and Pooja Vastrakar (2/12) were instrumental in bowling out Sri Lanka for 109 in 18.2 overs.
"We lost wickets in crucial times, particularly the runouts which cost us. In the death overs, there was good bowling. Some were good but others were off. The runouts are an issue, we need to concentrate on overcoming it."
Chamari signed off by praising Jemimah for her knock of 76 and was positive about her opening partner, young Harshitha Madavi, for giving Sri Lanka a great start with 26 off 20 balls, including five boundaries, three of which came in the opening over.
"Jemimah batted very well in these conditions, we will have to stick to our plans in the future. Harshitha batted well, she's crucial for us. She is an upcoming batter and she batted well. Hope she continues her form."