Smriti, Shafali fire as India clinch ODI series in style

 Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana in action. Photo: Twitter@ICC

Pallekele: The Indian women's team dominated from start to finish, both with the bat and ball, to hammer Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the second One-Day International (ODI) and claim an unassailable 2-0 in the three-match series here on Monday.

The Indian openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma fired for the first time on the tour, sharing an unbeaten partnership of 174 to see the visitors home in just 25.4 overs.

The bowlers set it up for the tourists by dismissing Sri Lanka for 173, and after that, Smriti's stroke-filled 94 off 83 balls and Shafali's run-a-ball 71 paved the way for the convincing win.

The duo's partnership is India's best for all wickets against Sri Lanka.

 Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma plays one through the off side. Photo: Twitter@ICC

After having won the first ODI comfortably, the Indians came into the second game as favourites against a wobbly Sri Lankan side. Adding to the visitors confidence was the fact that they also triumphed in the preceding three-match T20I series.

After winning the toss, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur asked Sri Lanka to bat first on a surface in favourable conditions for the bowlers.

The hosts soon found themselves in all sorts of trouble as pacer Renuka Singh was on point with her lengths from the word go.

The 26-year-old reigned supreme with the ball, with a career-best 4/28, rattling the Sri Lankan top-order with three quick strikes.

Even as wickets fell at regular intervals, lower-order batter Ama Kanchana held fort for the hosts with an unbeaten 47 off 83 balls. Seasoned off-spinner Deepti Sharma's two wickets off the last two balls helped India bowl out the Lankans.

"We have been talking about long partnerships. We discussed that we need to give 100 per cent. The partnership was outstanding. It is important to have bowling options," Harmanpreet said after the game.

India won the first ODI by four wickets and will look to complete a 3-0 sweep when they meet the home team in the final match on Thursday.

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