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Women's Asia Cup 2022: Sabbhineni Meghana's 69 ensures comfortable win for India over Malaysia

India registered its second win in the Women's Asia Cup 2022 on Monday. It drubbed Malaysia by 30 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method. It is placed second in the points table, with four more matches to go.

Womens Asia Cup 2022: Sabbhineni Meghana 69 ensures comfortable win for India over Malaysia-ayh
First Published Oct 3, 2022, 7:07 PM IST

Indian opener Sabbhineni Meghana (69) batted with a command to register her maiden Twenty20 International (T20I) half-century, with India defeating Malaysia by 30 runs through the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in the rain-truncated 2022 Women's Asia Cup clash at the Sylhet Outer Cricket Stadium on Monday. As she replaced deputy captain Smriti Mandhana at the top, Meghana struck a career-best knock of 69 off 53 balls, helping India post 181/4. In reply, Malaysia was wobbling at 16/2 in 5.2 overs when rain interrupted the play, far behind the 46-run mark, the D/L par score when the match was abandoned.

With this success, India has moved to the second spot again on the points table -- with four points -- trailing arch-rival Pakistan. Meghana took the Malaysian bowling attack to the sword, bringing up her career-best score in the format, as India was invited to bat first. The big-hitting Shafali Verma, floundering for form, also pitched in. However, the teen appeared husky for most of her 46-run knock.

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Meghana made most of the chance she was provided, donning the role of the assailant from the opening delivery. She churned out boundaries every over, hitting the ball across the park in the Powerplay (PP), as India brought 47/0 in the opening six overs. She was dropped on 14 by skipper Winifred Duraisingam (2/36) in the third over, and the right-hander made the Malaysian pay for the mistake. She raced to her half-century with a four.

Poor fielding added to Malaysia's sufferings, with the Indian women's side looking on course for a 200-plus total. However, Duraisingam got the prized wicket of Meghana. The Indian attempted to drive but chipped it straight into the extra cover, sending the Malaysian side into a craze. Shafali, who had played second fiddle to the embodiment, plundered a couple of sixes but failed to carry on the swiftness once Meghana was dismissed.

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Richa Ghosh was upgraded to the third batting spot, and the young wicketkeeper-batter recreated an eloquent 33-run knock, locating the gaps beautifully. But, Shafali strumbled to rev as Malaysia tautened its bowling and fielding, besides beginning a mini-batting spill. In the eventful penultimate over, Shafali was bowled by 17-year-old Nur Dania Syuhada (2/9) off the opening delivery before the spinner also dismissed Kiran Navgire (0) in the subsequent delivery.

It would have been a three-wicket haul for the teen had Richa not been dropped at deep mid-wicket on 31. Defending 181, spinners Deepti Sharma (1/10) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (1/6) sent back openers Winifred Duraisingam (0) and Wan Julia (1) before rain spoilt the contest.

(With inputs from PTI)

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