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Report: Ind vs SL (Women), WT20 2014

India Women lost their opening match of 2014 ICC World Twenty20 to Sri Lanka Women by 22 runs at the Sylhet Stadium. Chasing 129 runs, the Mithali Raj-led side succumbed to the SL attack and was restricted to 106 for nine by them.

Earlier, SL Women posted 128 for eight, courtesy a 43-run knock by opener Chamari Atapattu and a 29-ball 34 by Eshani Kaushalya. Opting to bat first, SL lost Yashoda Mendis in the second over with just 14 runs on the board. Gouher Sultana provided India with their first breakthrough early in the innings, while Soniya Dabir followed up with the wicket of Deepika Rasangika nine runs later. Shashikala Siriwardene was caught by Shikha Pandey off her own bowling after contributing just five runs to the total.

Kaushalya then joined Atapattu in the middle and the pair took the team to 83, before the opener was castled by Harmanpreet Kaur. The middle-order batter played a cameo and added useful runs to set a competitive target, before being sent back in the last over by Poonam Yadav. While Kaushalya had worked to keep the scoreboard ticking, Oshadi Ranasinghe was run out without providing much support. However, Chamari Polgampola chipped in with a nine-ball 13. Yadav, who claimed Kaushalya’s scalp, also accounted for Udeshika Prabodhani, who was stumped with a ball left in the innings. Inoka Ranaweera then added two off the last ball.

The Indian eves got off to a start similar to their opposition. They lost Smriti Mandhana in the second over with 10 runs on the scorecard.

Shashikala Siriwardene, who ran out Mandhana, also claimed Mithali Raj lbw a while later. Picking two wickets each, Maduri Samuddika,

 Ranaweera and Prabodhani, sent back Indian batters at regular intervals, to leave their opponents tottering on 93 for eight. Although India reached the three-figure mark, it was a bit too late in the innings. With SL Women firmly in the driver’s seat, India’s lower-order bat Yadav was run out on the last ball of the penultimate over. With just six balls left in the innings and 29 runs to win, there was little that Karu Jain and Sultana could do as they saw the final over through.

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2014 Deodhar Trophy SF - NZ vs SZ

Rajat Paliwal stars in North Zone win

With a comprehensive 100-run win over South Zone, North Zone powered their way into the final of the 2014 BCCI Prof D B Deodhar Trophy. After centurion Rajat Paliwal and Gurkeerat Singh salvaged the floundering North Zone innings with a 151-run partnership, their bowlers bowled out South Zone for 165 to claim victory.

Batting first, North Zone put up 265 for seven, after being reduced to 63 for four in the 21st over. South Zone captain Vinay Kumar, who has been in good form while representing his state team throughout the season, provided early breakthroughs to push NZ on the back foot. He claimed Gautam Gambhir for two, and followed up with the wicket of Nitin Saini six overs later. Five runs later, Mandeep Singh was run out. And a few overs later, Baba Aparajith trapped Prashant Chopra leg-before.

However, Gurkeerat Singh and Rajat Paliwal then fashioned a comeback for North Zone with a solid fifth-wicket partnership. The pair carefully rebuilt the innings and seized the advantage back from South Zone, until Vinay Kumar struck to end the stand. The SZ captain sent back Gurkeerat Singh to end the flourishing partnership. With Gurkeerat back in the pavilion for 77, Parvez Rasool came out to the crease, but was removed by Abhimanyu Mithun for eight. Harbhajan Singh followed him back after adding seven to the total, while Paliwal continued to stoically hold up one end. The middle-order batsman remained unbeaten on 107 with Rishi Dhawan on four as North Zone set the opposition a competitive target.

Chasing the 266-run target, South Zone got off to a good start with Robin Uthappa and Aparajith building a 72-run opening stand. Ishant Sharma gave NZ their first breakthrough by accounting for Aparajith’s wicket. Rishi Dhawan then claimed two in his next two overs to leave the opposition on 78 for three and tip the balance back in NZ’s favour. NZ bowlers continued to strike at regular intervals thereafter. After Dhawan accounted for Uthappa and Lokesh Rahul’s wicket, Harbhajan Singh and Rasool ran through the rest of the line-up to wrap up the SZ innings.

Harbhajan and Rasool claimed three wickets each, while Ashish Nehra took one to bowl North Zone to a victory in the semi-final clash.