Veteran Mithali Raj scored a composed fifty as India put up a fine all round show to beat Pakistan to register their second win in as many matches of the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20. Chasing a modest 134, India chased down the total with an over to spare.
Opening the innings, Mithali scored 56 off 47 with the help of seven fours. India began their chase with 10 penalty runs added to their total after Pakistan players were thrice warned for running into the danger zone. And any hopes of seeing a fightback from Pakistan soon ended after India openers gave their team a flying start. Mithali and Smriti Mandhana added 73 runs for the first wicket before the latter departed after scoring 26.
Youngster Jemimah Rodrigues, who had scored a fine fifty in the previous game, failed to score big this time. She made just 16 before hitting one straight into the hands of bowler Nida Dar. Mithali, on the other hand, departed in the 18th over. But by then, India needed just 11 runs. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (14*) and Veda (8*) then ensured India complete the victory without suffering any further hiccup.
Earlier in the game, fifties from Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar helped Pakistan recover from a poor start and post 133 for 7 in the allotted overs. A couple of run-outs early in the innings was the last thing Pakistan would have wanted in the big clash.They had lost opener Ayesha Zafar for a six-ball duck in the very first over. Then two run-outs – Omaima Sohail (3) and Javeria Khan (17) – left them reeling at 30 for 3.
However, the Indian fielders’ generosity helped Pakistan recover from 30/3 to 124/3.
Nida was dropped twice – once on 15 and then on 29 – and she capitalised to score 52 off 35 with the help of five fours and two sixes. Mahroof scored 53 off 49 while hitting four boundaries.
But as soon as both the settled batswomen departed, India managed to tighten up things in the slog overs. Poonam Yadav picked up two wickets in the final over and conceded just 5 runs. The 10 penalty runs further made things tough for Pakistan.
Pakistan 133/7 in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 53, Nida Dar 52; Poonam Yadav 2-22) lost to India 137/3 in 19 overs (Mithali Raj 56, Smriti Mandhana 26; Nida Dar 1-17) by 7 wickets.