ICC Women’s World T20: India ride on Mithali Raj’s masterclass to beat Pakistan
The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side clinched their second consecutive victory in the Women’s World T20 as they got the better of arch-rivals Pakistan, with an over remaining, in a lop-sided encounter on Sunday.
Always billed as one of the premier clashes in the game of cricket, an India-Pakistan clash draws a lot more attention than every other sporting event on the day and this game, was one to watch out for because of Kaur’s heroics in the opener against New Zealand where she battled her stomach cramps and powered her way to a record T20I hundred.
Pakistan batted first and got off to a poor start with opener Ayesha Zafar being dismissed in the very first over. A brilliant run-out by Jemimah Rodrigues led to the fall of the second wicket Umaima Sohail was the one to bite the dust this time. By 6.2 overs, they were reduced to 3/30 and needed someone to come up with a saving act, if they had to post an imposing total on the board.
A 93-run stand then came by with Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar making an effort to arrest the slump and take the team to a decent total. Maroof struck 53 off 49 deliveries while Dar’s 52 came off 35 balls with five fours and two sixes. Eventually, all they could manage was 133/7 in their 20 overs. Poonam Yadav, who had done well for India with the ball in their earlier match against New Zealand once again turned up with two wickets for 22 runs.
India got off the blocks pretty much in style with Mithali Raj partnering Smriti Mandhana to a 73-run opening stand. Despite the latter’s dismissal for just 26, Raj continued on the same note, notching up a fifty off 47 deliveries, hitting seven fours in the process as India made short work of the chase and achieved it with six balls remaining. Dar, who was one of Pakistan’s stars with the bat did it with the ball as well as he scalped one wicket in her miserly four-over spell that yielded just 17 runs.
Brief scores: India 137 for 3 (Raj 56) beat Pakistan 133 for 7 (Maroof 53, Dar 52, Poonam 2-22) by seven wickets.
Image credit- CricketCountry