Guyana: India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by seven wickets to continue their winning run in the ICC Women’s World T20 in Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown on Sunday.
While Mithali Raj scored 56 runs off 47 balls that was adorned by seven boundaries, the bowlers were able to restrict Pakistan to 134/7.
India began their chase on the unusual scoreline of 10/0 after Pakistan were twice docked five penalty runs for their batters running on the pitch. The ICC’s playing conditions calls for a first and final warning from the umpires for encroaching the protected area of the track before the team is penalized five runs for the next offense.
Half-centurions Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof were initially warned by the umpires after the 13th over for running on the danger area. On the first ball of the 18th over, Pakistan was penalized for the first time, before being hit with another five-run penalty on the last ball of the innings.
Mithali capitalized on the advantage and the veteran-dominated proceedings along with her opening partner Smriti Mandhana. She played the opposition bowlers with absolute ease and although India lost a couple of wickets, she kept her calm and was able to guide her team to the victory with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur playing a quick-fire knock at the end.
Earlier, Pakistan rode half-centuries from Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar to post 133/7. Fresh from a 52-run defeat to Australia in their opening match, Pakistan struggled to get going in the face of some accurate Indian bowling.
Asked to bat first, Pakistan suffered an early blow when Arundhati Reddy dismissed Ayesha Zafar in the very first over thanks to an excellent catch by Veda Krishnamurthy at first slip.
Omaima Sohail and Javeria Khan virtually gifted away their wickets with rather silly run-outs to leave Pakistan in trouble at 30/3 in the seventh over.
However, Bismah and Nida brought the innings back on track with a 94-run stand. Bismah scored 53 runs off 49 balls while Nida hit a breezy 52 off 35 deliveries which included five boundaries and two hits into the stands.
Nida was the beneficiary of a piece of good luck when Veda dropped an easy catch at long-off off Radha Yadav’s bowling even as the ball slipped through for a boundary.
The Indians continued to struggle with their fielding even as the Pakistanis piled on the runs with some superb stroke-play.
Dayalan Hemalatha brought the Indians back into the game when she sent back both Pakistani batters in the 19th over shortly after they had reached their respective half-centuries.
Maroof was caught by Veda at long-on after she had come down the track to a well-flighted delivery. Nida followed her back to the pavilion a couple of deliveries later when a mistimed cut hand an easy catch to Harmanpreet Kaur at cover.
The rest of the Pakistani batters never really matched up to the Indian bowlers as apart from Javeria Khan, all of them failed to reach double figures.
Brief Scores: Pakistan: 133-7, 20 overs (Bisman Mahroof 53, Nida Dar 52; Poonam Yadav 2-22, Dayalan Hemalatha 2-34). India: 137-3 in 19 overs (Mithali Raj 56, Smriti Mandhana 26)