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Poonam Yadav's four-wicket haul takes India women to victory

India women 168 for 8 (Bhatia 46, Rodrigues 36, Patil 36, Prabodhani 2-18) beat Sri Lanka women 155 (Kaushalya 45, Mendis 32, Poonam 4-26) by 13 runs

Legspinner Poonam Yadav's four-wicket haul guided India women to a 13-run victory over Sri Lanka women in the first T20I at FTZ Sports Complex in Katunayake.

After being asked to bat, India put up 168 for 8, courtesy a 35-ball 46 by Taniya Bhatia and 36 each by Jemimah Rodrigues and Anuja Patil. In response, Sri Lanka were 70 for 2 at the end of seven overs, with Chamari Atapattu batting on 27 off 21. However, Poonam dismissed Rebeca Vandort and Atapattu in the next over to jolt the chase. Eshani Lokusuriyage fought with a 31-ball 45, but there was not much support from the other end as the hosts were bowled out for 155 in 19.3 overs.

Openers Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis gave Sri Lanka a breezy start of 39 in three overs before Mendis fell to the medium-pace of Arundhati Reddy for a 12-ball 32, studded with five fours and two sixes. Atapattu and Vandort took the side past 50 in the sixth over before Poonam's double-strike derailed the chase.

Lokusuriyage held the end together, despite the wickets tumbling at the other and brought the equation down to 18 off 12 balls with two wickets in hand. Radha Yadav, the left-arm spinner, then bowled a tight 19th over, conceding just three and taking out Lokusuriyage. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur bowled Sugandika Kumari in the next over to end the innings.

Earlier, India lost Smriti Mandhana for a first-ball duck to Udeshika Prabodhani. But Mithali Raj and Rodrigues added 57 for the second wicket off just 24 balls. Rodrigues struck three sixes and a four off successive balls off Nilakshi de Silva, who leaked 27 in her first over.

Sripali Weerakkody broke the stand by trapping Raj for 17, but Bhatia started in an emphatic manner, smashing three fours off the first four balls she faced. Atapattu dismissed Rodrigues and Harmanpreet, for a duck, in space of three balls to reduce India to 70 for 4.

A 67-run partnership between Bhatia and Patil for the fifth wicket took India to 137 at the end of 15 overs. Sri Lanka pulled things back with Bhatia's wicket as only 18 runs came from the next four overs. Veda Krishnamurthy's unbeaten 15-ball 21, however, ensured India finished with a total that eventually proved too much for Sri Lanka.