India Women’s Cricket Team had a terrific start to their 2018 Asia Cup campaign after thrashing host Malaysia by 142 runs at Kuala Lumpur courtesy a clinical performance.
India didn’t have a good start batting first as they lost in-form Smriti Mandhana (2) in the very second over.
However, Mithali Raj, the living legend of Indian cricket, was on a different planet against the Malaysians. She kept the scoreboard ticking with her brilliant display of batting while piercing the gaps.
Meanwhile, when it was looking India is going to post a big target, they lost Pooja Vastrakar (16) and were reeling at 35 for two. Since then, it was a one-woman show as Mithali torn apart Malaysia’s bowling.
Experienced campaigner partnered skipper Harmanpreet Kaur to guide India to a huge score. The duo added 86 runs for their third wicket to make things difficult for the hosting team.
Harmanpreet (32) played some amazing strokes before getting run-out at the team’s score of 121.
Mithali, on the other hand, continued to play a gem of an innings as Deepti Sharma joined her in the middle. The pair added 48 runs in just 30 balls to take India’s score to 169.
Raj remained unbeaten on 97 runs off just 69 balls. She registered 13 boundaries and one huge six while Deepti managed to chip in with 18 runs.
It looked like a tough job for the hosts Malaysia at the half-way mark with almost 8.5 runs required per over.
However, in reply, the Indian bowling was all-over the Malaysian batting unit as they struggled to get going.
Vastrakar drew the first blood in the opponent’s batting and since then there was no looking back. They lost wickets at regular intervals only to get all-out at 27 runs in 13.4 overs.
No batter crossed the double-digit mark as Pooja returned with three wickets, well guided by Anuja Patil and Poonam Yadav, who returned with two wickets each.
As a result, India goes right to the top of the table with one win from one game. They take on Thailand next on June 4 at Kuala Lumpur.
Brief Score: India Women 169/3 (Mithali 97*, Noor Hayati 1/30) beat Malaysia Women 27/10 (Sasha Azmi 9, Pooja Vastrakar 3/6) by 142 runs.
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