Title contenders India and New Zealand opened their respective campaigns in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2016 with emphatic victories on Tuesday.
Host India brushed aside Bangladesh by 72 runs in the Group B opener in Bengaluru, while New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in a Group A game in Delhi.
India, which had won 10 of its last 13 T20I matches heading into the tournament, outplayed Bangladesh with both bat and ball to issue a stern warning to other rivals in the 10-nation event.
Having being sent in to bat, India piled up its highest T20I total of 163 for five, surpassing the previous best of 151 for five against the same opponents two years ago.
Skipper Mithali Raj led the way with 42 off 35 ball, putting on 62 for the first wicket with Vellaswamy Vanitha, who made 38.
Harmanpreet Kaur, later named player of the match, smashed two sixes and three boundaries while making a 29-ball 40. Veda Krishnamurthy boosted the total with an unbeaten 36 off 24 balls.
Bangladesh was restricted to 91 for five in reply as India's spin twins Anuja Patil and Poonam Yadav claimed two wickets each. Nigar Sultana top-scored for her team with 27 not out.
Mithali said she was pleased to start the tournament on a winning note. “Bangladesh is an improved side so we were certainly not expecting an easy game,” she said.
“I am glad we played well and won the match convincingly. But we need to continue in the same manner if we are to progress beyond the league.”
Bangladesh captain Jahanara Alam said India proved too strong for her side, but was glad the way her players responded to the challenge.
“We had hoped to restrict India to around 125-130 but their batters were so good,” Jahanara said. “I think Rumana and Nahida bowled well and then it was nice to see us get 91 runs against a strong side.”
India and Bangladesh have been drawn alongside England, Pakistan and the West Indies in Group B with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals.
The other group comprises three-time defending champion Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, electing to bat against New Zealand, suffered a dramatic collapse after a promising start to be restricted to 110 for eight from 20 overs.
Yasoda Mendis hit 30 and Dilani Manodara made 37 as Sri Lanka moved to a competitive 82 for one in 13 overs before seven wickets crashed for 25 runs, three of them through run outs.
Leigh Kasperek finished with two for 19 as seven Sri Lankan batters failed to reach double figures.
New Zealand coasted home with 25 deliveries to spare following an opening stand of 64 runs between skipper Suzie Bates (37) and Rachel Priest (28).
Both openers were dismissed in the space of five balls to make it 68 for two in the 11th over, but an unbeaten 21 by Sara McGlashan ensured New Zealand had no trouble in chasing down the modest target.
“It is really pleasing to get the first one,” said Bates. “And the way we came back after Sri Lanka put us under pressure in its innings was very good.
“We play Ireland next on Friday. Every game is like a final for us and we will prepare well for it.”
Sri Lanka's captain Shashikala Siriwardene said the batting collapse after a good start let her team down.
“Three run-outs did not help at all,” she said. “We fell about 20 runs short and then we gave away at least 20 runs in the field. Anyway, I hope we will recover and do well in other matches.”
India beat Bangladesh by 72 runs
India 163-5, 20 overs (Mithali Raj 42, Vellaswamy Vanitha 38, Harmanpreet Kaur 40, Veda Krishnamurthy 36 not out; Rumana Ahmed 2-35, Fahima Khatun 2-31)
Bangladesh 91-5, 20 overs (Sharmin Akhter 21, Nigar Sultana 27 not out; Anuja Patil 2-16, Poonam Yadav 2-17)
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets
Sri Lanka 110-8, 20 overs (Yasoda Mendis 30, Dilani Manodara 37, Leigh Kasperek 2-19)
New Zealand 111-3, 15.5 overs (Suzie Bates 37, Rachel Priest 28, Sara McGlashan 21 not out)
Group B: Pakistan v West Indies, Chennai
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