Dayalan Hemalatha's return to the international circuit after a grueling 18-month wait was nothing short of triumphant. Stepping onto the field for India once more in the second T20I against Bangladesh, she seized the moment with an innings that dazzled spectators.

Following a stellar bowling performance that restricted Bangladesh Women to a modest 119 runs in their allotted 20 overs, India Women faced an early setback with the dismissal of Shafali Verma. In came Hemalatha at No. 3 and she wasted no time in making her presence felt. Her innings of 41 runs off just 24 balls, studded with 5 fours and 2 sixes, was a testament to her skills with the bat. Despite starting cautiously with just 4 runs off her first 7 deliveries, she quickly shifted gears, launching her first six off the bowling of Sultana Khartun and never looking back. In a pivotal partnership of 47 runs, she outshone even the renowned Smriti Mandhana, who contributed just 5 runs before rain intervened, cutting short what promised to be a memorable display of batting prowess.

Reflecting on her journey, Hemalatha's career has seen its share of challenges since her debut in the 2018 T20 World Cup, where runs had been elusive. Before this game, she had amassed only 90 runs in 15 T20Is, often batting lower down the order. However, her relentless efforts in the domestic circuit and the Women’s Premier League paved the way for her resurgence. In the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy of October 2023, she showcased her mettle with an impressive tally of 199 runs in 6 innings, highlighted by an unbeaten 98 against Jharkhand. Similarly, in the Women’s Premier League, a strategic promotion to the No. 3 position against the Mumbai Indians proved instrumental, as she blazed her way to 74 runs off just 40 deliveries. 

Talking about her innings, Hemalatha said, “It's amazing. It always feels amazing when you are playing for your country, In the domestic circuit, I used to play at No. 4 and 5 in the batting order. When I came to GG [Gujarat Giants], I was playing at No.3. For that, I started playing with the new ball in WPL, and it has worked for me here also because I was confident playing against the new ball. We were planning to play just according to our strengths, it was a run-a-ball game, 120 was achievable. We didn't plan that much.”